Glaucoma Explained: Types, Symptoms, and Advanced Care at Valley Laser Eye Centre

Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions that can cause progressive damage to the optic nerve, leading to vision loss and, if left untreated, blindness. Often associated with increased pressure in the eye, glaucoma affects millions of individuals worldwide, with many cases left undiagnosed until significant vision loss occurs. Early detection and proper management of glaucoma are crucial for preserving vision and maintaining overall eye health.

At Valley Laser Eye Centre in Abbotsford, BC, our team of dedicated eye care professionals is committed to providing comprehensive information, exceptional care, and advanced treatment options for individuals affected by glaucoma. In this extensive blog post, we will explore the different types of glaucoma, discuss common symptoms, and outline the cutting-edge treatment options available at our clinic.

Understanding Different Types of Glaucoma

There are several types of glaucoma, each with its unique characteristics and risks. The most common forms of glaucoma include:

1. Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma (POAG): This is the most common type of glaucoma, characterized by slow and gradual optic nerve damage due to increased pressure in the eye. POAG typically has no symptoms in the early stages, making early detection through regular eye examinations crucial.

2. Angle-Closure Glaucoma (ACG): A more sudden and severe form of glaucoma, ACG occurs when the drainage angle of the eye becomes abruptly blocked, leading to rapid increases in eye pressure. ACG often presents with symptoms such as eye pain, headache, and blurred vision.

3. Normal-Tension Glaucoma (NTG): In NTG, optic nerve damage occurs despite the eye pressure being within the normal range. Researchers believe that other factors, such as reduced blood flow to the optic nerve, may contribute to NTG development.

4. Secondary Glaucoma: This type of glaucoma is caused by other eye conditions, injuries, or medications that increase eye pressure, leading to optic nerve damage.

Recognizing the Symptoms and Risk Factors of Glaucoma

Glaucoma often develops slowly, with many individuals remaining unaware of the disease until significant vision loss has occurred. Primary open-angle glaucoma typically has no symptoms in the early stages, making regular eye examinations essential for early detection. However, symptoms of angle-closure glaucoma may surface suddenly and require immediate medical attention. Symptoms of angle-closure glaucoma can include:

1. Severe eye pain and headache

2. Nausea and vomiting

3. Blurred vision or seeing halos around lights

4. Redness in the affected eye

Risk factors for glaucoma development include age (higher risk for those over 60), family history, race (higher prevalence in individuals of African, Asian, and Hispanic heritage), high eye pressure, and certain medical conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure.

Diagnosing and Monitoring Glaucoma

Early detection is key to managing glaucoma effectively. Comprehensive eye examinations are crucial for diagnosing glaucoma, particularly since many individuals may not exhibit noticeable symptoms in the early stages. Eye examinations for glaucoma typically include the following tests:

1. Ophthalmoscopy: Examining the optic nerve using an ophthalmoscope to detect any damage or unusual appearance.

2. Tonometry: Measuring the intraocular pressure by applying gentle pressure to the eye using a specialized device.

3. Visual field testing: Assessing peripheral vision to identify any loss that could indicate glaucoma damage.

4. Pachymetry: Measuring the central corneal thickness to provide a more accurate eye pressure reading.

Consistent monitoring and follow-up appointments are vital for effectively managing glaucoma and preventing vision loss.

Treatment Options for Glaucoma at Valley Laser Eye Centre

At Valley Laser Eye Centre, our team offers a range of treatment options for glaucoma, including medications, laser therapy, and surgery. The primary goal of glaucoma treatment is to reduce eye pressure and minimize further optic nerve damage. The most appropriate treatment option will depend on the type and severity of glaucoma, as well as the individual’s unique needs:

1. Medications: Prescription eye drops and oral medications are often the first line of treatment for glaucoma. These medications work to lower eye pressure by reducing fluid production or improving drainage within the eye.

2. Laser Therapy: Laser techniques such as laser trabeculoplasty and iridotomy can be used to improve eye fluid drainage, reducing intraocular pressure.

3. Surgery: In cases where medications and laser therapy are ineffective or not well-tolerated, surgical treatments such as trabeculectomy or the implantation of glaucoma drainage devices may be necessary to manage eye pressure and minimize vision loss effectively.


Glaucoma is a complex group of eye conditions that can lead to progressive vision loss and even blindness if left undetected and untreated. By understanding the different types of glaucoma, recognizing symptoms and risk factors, and exploring the latest treatment options, individuals can take proactive steps toward preserving their vision and maintaining overall eye health.

At Valley Laser Eye Centre, our dedicated team of eye care professionals is committed to providing exceptional care and advanced treatment options for individuals affected by glaucoma. Schedule a consultation to assess your eye health, explore suitable treatment options, and receive personalized care guided by our skilled ophthalmologist in Abbotsford. Trust in Valley Laser Eye Centre’s expertise to help you navigate the complexities of glaucoma and maintain optimal eye health for years to come.

Disclaimer: This blog post does not replace medical advice and should not be implemented prior to consulting a fully certified medical professional.



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