Conditions We Treat

At Columbia, we treat all forms of glaucoma. Below is a list of some of the types we treat:

  • Open-angle
  • Pigmentary
  • Pseudoexfoliation
  • Narrow-angle
  • Angle-closure
  • Normal tension
  • Congenital
  • Inflammatory
  • Neovascular
  • Secondary
  • Irido Corneal Endothelial Syndrome (ICE)
  • Traumatic
  • Uveitic

There are three main types of glaucoma:

  • Open-Angle Glaucoma – The angle in the eye is open, but it does not function properly. This prevents the fluid inside the eye from draining and causes the pressure in the eye to rise.
  • Closed-Angle Glaucoma – The angle in the eye is closed or blocked. This prevents the fluid inside the eye from draining and causes the pressure in the eye to rise. The blockage happens very suddenly in some people and causes severe pain and vision loss. This is called "acute closed-angle glaucoma." It happens slowly over time and might cause periods of headaches in other people. This is called "chronic closed-angle glaucoma." Closed-angle glaucoma is a serious condition and needs to be treated immediately.
  • Congenital Glaucoma – This happens when a child is born with a defect in the angle of the eye that slows the normal drainage of fluid. These children usually have obvious symptoms, such as cloudy eyes, sensitivity to light, and excessive tearing.

Other types of glaucoma include:

  • Low-Tension or Normal-Tension Glaucoma – In this type, the optic nerve is damaged without an increase in eye pressure. People with this condition might also have problems with side vision. In some people with this type of glaucoma, medications or surgery can lower the eye pressure and slow the disease. In other people, reducing the eye pressure will not stop glaucoma from getting worse. Treatment options for low-tension or normal-tension glaucoma are the same as those for open-angle glaucoma.
  • Secondary Glaucoma – These are types of open-angle glaucoma that are caused by medication or other medical conditions. They include:
    • Pseudoexfoliative Glaucoma – People with this type have deposits of a protein-like material in their eyes.
    • Pigmentary Glaucoma – In this type, pigment from the iris flakes off and blocks the meshwork of the angle. This slows fluid drainage.
    • Neovascular Glaucoma – This is a severe form of glaucoma that can happen in people with diabetes.
    • Uvetic Glaucoma – This type of glaucoma can happen from eye inflammation.
    • In some people, corticosteroid drugs used to treat eye inflammations and other diseases can also cause secondary glaucoma.