Chronic glaucoma (also known as open angle glaucoma) is the most common chronic ophthalmological condition, and also one of the most common causes of treatable blindness in the world.
Chronic glaucoma is optic nerve damage associated with (in most patients) high intraocular pressure, amongst other things. Optic nerve damage has to be confirmed with visual field checks and other special techniques, such as the Heidelberg Retina Tomograph (HRT) or with Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) as high intraocular pressure alone does not constitute glaucoma.
Chronic glaucoma is more likely if there is family history of glaucoma and in patients over 40. The disease usually affects both eyes, and to differing degrees. It is asymptomatic until the last stages of the disease.
Other types of glaucoma exist, such as closed angle glaucoma, which are rarer and cause higher levels of eye pressure, usually symptomatic with pain and redness. This is rarer than chronic glaucoma.
Secondary glaucoma are even less common. They have obvious reasons for the rise. Those can be traumas, abnormal blood vessels growth inside the eye or the iris rubbing against the lens that lies close behind it.
In all cases of glaucoma an individualised treatment plan is necessary and is based on good clinical evidence.