Dr. Matthew Nutaitis of MUSC's Storm Eye Institute discusses the different types of glaucoma.
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Host: What are different types of glaucoma? So we have the open-angle glaucomas and there is the primary one that has no etiologies, and then there are the secondary open-angles. Now, another broad category of glaucomas are the closed-angle glaucomas. You can have an acute change, you can have a chronic change and you can have a subacute change. So, three are three different groups of those. The one that gets the most press is the acute angle-closure glaucoma patient and that patient demographic is different than the primary open-angle glaucoma and this is much more unusual than primary open-angle glaucoma. But we still see cases like that. The patient that I worry about, I go down in the cafeteria and grab a cup of tea and I walk out of the cafeteria, I can pick these people out and say, we've got to worry about this one having it. It's Caucasian females that are either in their 40s or in their 60s and they are farsighted. All of those features of that individual, what it means is that, their anterior segment is shallower and more at risk of, when you go into a certain lighting stage or your pupil gets a certain size, that the iris can actually occlude the drainage angle of the eye and up shoots the pressures up. These are some of the highest pressures you'll get. People are symptomatic, they don't see well, they usually come in and say, my eye hurts, what's going on? So that group presents themselves and when we were in clinic, what we were doing is, we're looking at that group of patients and then saying, are you at risk of developing this when you're away from us and then we're able to do some testing and anybody that has potential occludable angles, then we have a laser treatment to offer them. That laser was invented and became popular really about 20-30 years ago. So the patients that don't do well with angle-closure actually have dipped down because we're doing prophylactic treatment for that group. Part of a normal routine, ophthalmology eye exam is to make that assessment and offer that prophylactic treatment if we need it.