ABC Medical Center > Glaucoma

What is Glaucoma?

21:54 - 4 May , 2021


It is a condition in which the optic nerve is damaged, raising eye pressure due to an accumulation of fluid in the front of the eye. If not diagnosed and treated promptly, it can cause decreased vision and even blindness, so it is important to have regular eye exams to detect the condition and avoid possible damage to the optic nerve.

It is considered a disease that usually appears by genetic inheritance and although it usually affects older adults, it can occur at any age.

Many times, glaucoma does not show any symptoms until it is already very advanced and the damage is serious, so it is important to diagnose it early through periodic ophthalmic check-ups in which eye pressure is measured.

There are several types of glaucoma, the main ones being:

  • Open angle: it is the most frequent, since it is painless and does not cause symptoms or vision changes in early stages, it is not usually detected in time. Its development is very slow, but as it progresses, blind spots appear in peripheral vision and other problems, until vision is lost.
  • Narrow or closed angle: this is the most serious one, occurring when the iris blocks the eye’s drainage angle and suddenly increasing eye pressure. If this happens, it is crucial to see a specialist urgently so as not to lose sight.
  • Normal pressure: damage to the optic nerve occurs despite the fact that the eye pressure is within normal limits. It is due to circulatory problems caused by vascular deficiencies such as atherosclerosis.

Signs and symptoms Glaucoma

Open angle glaucoma:

  • Blind spots in peripheral vision.
  • When it is very advanced, peripheral vision is lost, becoming frontal or tunnel vision.

Narrow or closed angle glaucoma:

  • Intense pain in the eyes and forehead.
  • Eye irritation and redness.
  • Lights and halos in vision.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Blurred vision.

Potential risks:

  • Thin corneas.
  • Narrowing of the optic nerve.
  • Family members with a history of glaucoma.
  • Suffering from myopia or hyperopia.
  • Having had eye injuries or surgeries.
  • High eye pressure.
  • Being over 60 years old.
  • Having diabetes, high blood pressure, poor circulation, migraines, or other illnesses.
  • Prolonged use of ophthalmic solutions and corticosteroids.

Diagnosis and treatment Glaucoma

After reviewing your symptoms and medical history, your doctor will perform a complete eye exam that includes:

  • A tonometry to check your eye pressure.
  • A gonioscopy to check the drainage angle of the eye.
  • A pachymetry to measure the thickness of the cornea.
  • Use imaging studies to assess damage to the optic nerve.
  • A visual field test to identify the degree of peripheral vision loss.

Glaucoma is an irreversible disease, but it can be treated with medication and laser or conventional surgery. However, you should consider that some medications that you must take for life may have the following side effects: 

  • Changes in the color of the eyes, in the surrounding skin, and in the shape of the eyelids.
  • Changes in heart rate and breathing.
  • Itching and redness.
  • Dry mouth.
  • Blurred vision.

In ABC Medical Center’s Internal Medicine Department, we offer health care services with the highest quality and safety, from the prevention, diagnosis, timely treatment, and monitoring of infectious, respiratory, endocrinological, dermatological, rheumatic, nephrological, gastrointestinal, and hematological pathologies of both chronic-degenerative diseases and acute conditions, through a comprehensive and multidisciplinary model.


  • glaucoma.org
  • aao.org
  • mayoclinic.org
  • medlineplus.gov
  • nei.nih.gov
  • medigraphic.com
  • Peña AY, García MY, Peña LN. Factores de riesgo en el glaucoma primario de ángulo abierto en Bayamo. Mul Med. 2020;24(2):324-337.
  • Gómez MN, Gómez MN, Santander AR, et al. Primary open-angle glaucoma, clinical characterization in Pinar del Rio. Rev Ciencias Médicas. 2019;23(6):810-816.
  • Hernández BRA, Triana CI, Beltrán SRI, et al. Retinosis pigmentaria atípica y glaucoma. Presentación de caso. Revista de Ciencias Médicas de la Habana. 2020;27(3):411-417.
  • Arzuaga HE, Piloto DI, Fumero GFY, et al. Artefactos en la tomografía de coherencia óptica de dominio espectral en el glaucoma. Rev Cub Oftal. 2019;32(4):1-11.

How can we help you?

    The dissemination of the content of this material is for informational purposes only and does not replace, under any circumstance or condition, a consultation with a specialist doctor, for which the ABC Medical Center is not responsible for the different use that may be given to it. If you require more information related to the subject, we suggest you contact the specialist doctor you trust directly.