Glaucoma is a groups of eye diseases that can damage the eye nerve. Damage to the nerve can lead to poor eyesight and blindness. Open-angle glaucoma is the most common type.
Early treatment can improve outcomes.
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Fluid is made inside the eye. Glaucoma is caused by fluid that drains too slowly. This can increase pressure in the eye and damage the eye nerve.
Open-angle glaucoma is more common in older adults. It is also more common in people of African and Hispanic descent.
Other things that may raise the risk are:
Open angle glaucoma may not have symptoms in the early stages. When symptoms happen, they may be:
The eye doctor will ask about symptoms and health history.
An eye exam will be done. Tests will include:
The goal of treatment is to lower eye pressure. The doctor will watch for changes over time. Options are:
Eyesight problems can be stressful. Care may include counseling and support groups.
There are no guidelines to prevent open-angle glaucoma.
The Glaucoma Foundation
Glaucoma Research Foundation
The Canadian Ophthalmological Society
Glaucoma Research Society of Canada
Eye health information for adults 40 to 60. American Academy of Ophthalmology Eye Smart website. Available at: https://www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/midlife-adults A. Accessed July 29, 2019.
Eye health information for adults over 60. American Academy of Ophthalmology Eye Smart website. Available at: https://www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/seniors. Accessed August 9, 2021.
Primary open-angle glaucoma. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/primary-open-angle-glaucoma . Accessed August 9, 2021.
What is glaucoma? American Academy of Ophthalmology website. Available at: https://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/what-is-glaucoma . Accessed August 9, 2021.
What is glaucoma? Glaucoma Research Foundation website. Available at: https://www.glaucoma.org/glaucoma/. Accessed August 9, 2021.
8/9/2017 DynaMed Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T919533/Surgical-procedures-for-primary-open-angle-glaucoma: Manasses DT, Au L. The new era of glaucoma micro-stent surgery. Ophthalmol Ther. 2016;5(2):135-146.
8/9/2021 DynaMed Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114157/Primary-open-angle-glaucoma: Wang S, Liu Y, et al. Hypothyroidism as a risk factor for open angle glaucoma: A systematic review and meta-analysis. PLoS One. 2017 Oct 25;12(10):e0186634.
Last reviewed July 2021 by
EBSCO Medical Review Board Daniel A. Ostrovsky, MD
Last Updated: 8/9/2021