Primary vs. Secondary Glaucoma: Understanding the Difference
Glaucoma is a disease of the eye that causes damage to the optic nerve. It usually happens due to excess pressure in the eye. If untreated, it can lead to permanent loss of vision. There are two main types of glaucoma – primary and secondary.
Primary Glaucoma: This form of glaucoma is also known as chronic glaucoma. It is caused by excess pressure in the eye, known as intraocular pressure. This increase in pressure is usually due to improper drainage of fluid within the eye. Due to this, pressure increases, and it can damage the optic nerve. As there are no symptoms that patients would experience, most of them may not even realize that their vision is being affected. It is a serious condition that can lead to loss of vision.
Secondary Glaucoma: The difference between primary and secondary glaucoma is that secondary glaucoma is caused by external reasons. An injury to the eye, inflammation in the eye, diabetes, or the use of steroids can lead to an increase of intraocular pressure. As in primary glaucoma, increased eye pressure can damage the optic nerve and cause vision loss. This type of glaucoma is usually detected while treating the underlying cause.
Both primary and secondary glaucoma can be treated through medication. Eye drops and oral medication are prescribed. In secondary glaucoma, the underlying condition should also be treated. If medication is not helpful, then laser therapy or minimally invasive glaucoma surgery can be used to improve fluid drainage.