Glaucoma is an optic neuropathy Neuropathy Leprosy characterized by typical visual field Visual Field The Visual Pathway and Related Disorders defects and optic nerve Optic nerve The 2nd cranial nerve which conveys visual information from the retina to the brain. The nerve carries the axons of the retinal ganglion cells which sort at the optic chiasm and continue via the optic tracts to the brain. The largest projection is to the lateral geniculate nuclei; other targets include the superior colliculi and the suprachiasmatic nuclei. Though known as the second cranial nerve, it is considered part of the central nervous system. The 12 Cranial Nerves: Overview and Functions atrophy Atrophy Decrease in the size of a cell, tissue, organ, or multiple organs, associated with a variety of pathological conditions such as abnormal cellular changes, ischemia, malnutrition, or hormonal changes. Cellular Adaptation seen as optic disc Optic disc The portion of the optic nerve seen in the fundus with the ophthalmoscope. It is formed by the meeting of all the retinal ganglion cell axons as they enter the optic nerve. Eye: Anatomy cupping on examination. The acute form of glaucoma is a medical emergency. Glaucoma is often, but not always, caused by increased intraocular pressure Increased intraocular pressure An ocular disease, occurring in many forms, having as its primary characteristics an unstable or a sustained increase in the intraocular pressure which the eye cannot withstand without damage to its structure or impairment of its function. The consequences of the increased pressure may be manifested in a variety of symptoms, depending upon type and severity, such as excavation of the optic disk, hardness of the eyeball, corneal anesthesia, reduced visual acuity, seeing of colored halos around lights, disturbed dark adaptation, visual field defects, and headaches. Osmotic Diuretics (IOP). Frequently, there is peripheral vision Vision Ophthalmic Exam loss that eventually leads to loss of central vision Vision Ophthalmic Exam. The 2 main types of glaucoma are open-angle and angle-closure. Overproduction or reduced excretion of the aqueous humor Aqueous humor The clear, watery fluid which fills the anterior and posterior chambers of the eye. It has a refractive index lower than the crystalline lens, which it surrounds, and is involved in the metabolism of the cornea and the crystalline lens. Eye: Anatomy leads to open-angle glaucoma. Onset of symptoms is gradual. Angle-closure glaucoma results from blockage in the angle (of the iris and cornea Cornea The transparent anterior portion of the fibrous coat of the eye consisting of five layers: stratified squamous corneal epithelium; bowman membrane; corneal stroma; descemet membrane; and mesenchymal corneal endothelium. It serves as the first refracting medium of the eye. Eye: Anatomy), preventing drainage of the aqueous fluid. Diagnosis involves IOP determination (tonometry) and angle visualization with slit lamp Slit Lamp A microscope with a light source that can be projected into a linear beam. It allows cross-sectional viewing of the aqueous humor; conjuncteiva; cornea; eyelids; iris; and lens of the eye. Ophthalmic Exam (gonioscopy). Treatment includes topical medications that reduce IOP, and eye surgery.
Last updated: May 30, 2022
The differential diagnoses of glaucoma include the following conditions:
Sign up now and get free access to Lecturio with concept pages, medical videos, and questions for your medical education.
Lecturio Premium gives you full access to all content & features
Verify your email now to get a free trial.
Lecturio Premium gives you full access to all contents and features—including Lecturio’s Qbank with up-to-date board-style questions.