Tipos de glaucoma

Existen diversos tipos de glaucoma. Los dos tipos principales son el de ángulo abierto y el de ángulo cerrado. Se caracterizan por un aumento de la presión intraocular (PIO), es decir, la presión dentro del ojo.

open angle glaucoma

Open-angle glaucoma, the most common form of glaucoma, accounts for at least 90% of all glaucoma cases:

  • It is caused by the slow obstruction of drainage channels, which produces an increase in eye pressure.
  • It has a wide, open angle between the iris and the cornea
  • It develops slowly and is a lifelong condition
  • It presents symptoms and causes damage that is not noticed.

“Open angle” means that the angle at which the iris meets the cornea is wide and open, just as it should be. Open-angle glaucoma is also called primary or chronic glaucoma. It is the most common type of glaucoma, affecting approximately three million Americans.

medical illustration of fluid pathway in open-angle-glaucoma with Spanish captions

Angle-closure glaucoma

Angle-closure glaucoma is a less common form of glaucoma:

  • It is caused by blockage of drainage channels, which produces a sudden increase in intraocular pressure.
  • It has a closed and narrow angle between the iris and the cornea
  • Develops quickly
  • It presents symptoms and generally causes very noticeable damage.
  • Requires immediate medical attention

It is also called acute glaucoma or narrow-angle glaucoma. Unlike open-angle glaucoma, closed-angle glaucoma is a consequence of the process of closing the angle that is defined between the iris and the cornea.


medical illustration of fluid pathway in angle-closure glaucoma with Spanish captions

Normal tension glaucoma (NTG)

It is also called normal pressure or low pressure glaucoma. In normal tension glaucoma, the optic nerve is damaged even though the eye pressure is not very high. It is still unknown why some people’s optic nerves become damaged despite almost normal pressure levels.

congenital glaucoma

This type of glaucoma occurs in babies when there is incorrect or incomplete development of the drainage channels of the eye during the prenatal period. This is a rare condition that can be inherited. When uncomplicated, microsurgery can often correct structural defects. Other cases are treated with medications and surgery.

Other types of glaucoma

The following are some of the variants of open-angle and closed-angle glaucoma:

  • Secondary glaucoma
  • Glaucoma pigmentario
  • Glaucoma pseudoexfoliativo
  • Traumatic glaucoma
  • Glaucoma neovascular
  • Iridocorneal endothelial syndrome (IES)