Glaucoma is a common eye disorder which can cause loss of vision. There are several types of glaucoma. The four major types are open-angle (chronic) glaucoma, angle-closure (acute) glaucoma, congenital glaucoma and secondary glaucoma.
Prognosis of glaucoma
- Open-angle (chronic) glaucoma: The eye pressure increases slowly over time in this type of glaucoma. The pressure compresses the optic nerve. Most people have no evident symptoms but loss of vision can occur even if the person does not realise it. The outer field of vision (peripheral vision) is affected initially and slowly vision loss progresses from the outer rim of the eye and involves the central vision. Vision loss is permanent and advanced glaucoma can lead to blindness. There is no cure for open-angle glaucoma, but the symptoms and damage to vision can be prevented by closely following your doctor's instructions. Regular follow-ups are essential to prevent blindness. Prognosis of open angle glaucoma is good if it is diagnosed in early stages and treated appropriately.
- Angle-closure glaucoma: Closed-angle glaucoma (CAG) develops rapidly and so the symptoms are often severe. Vision loss progresses very quickly in CAG unlike open-angle glaucoma, which damages vision slowly and painlessly. This type of glaucoma may present as a medical emergency and immediate treatment is needed to save vision. A person, who has had acute glaucoma in one eye, is at risk for an attack in the second eye
- Congenital glaucoma: Prognosis of congenital glaucoma is usually good if surgery is done early. Delay in diagnosis and treatment can cause damage to vision.
- Secondary glaucoma: Secondary glaucoma may be caused due to drugs such as corticosteroids, eye diseases such as uveitis, certain systemic diseases (such as diabetes) and trauma. Prognosis of secondary glaucoma depends on the disease causing the condition. In some cases treatment of the underlying disease may improve glaucoma symptoms. But many cases need treatment for glaucoma as well.