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All forms of glaucoma cause the same characteristic changes in the optic nerve, at the back of the eye, and the nerve fibers. Glaucoma causes changes in the appearance of the optic disc (notching or thinning of the edge) and changes in the nerve fiber layer (fiber defects). Tiny amounts of bleeding (hemorrhages) near the optic disc may represent ongoing damage from the disease.
Other findings are used to determine how bad the disease is. Doctors classify the severity of glaucoma in the following way:
The two basic types of glaucoma differ in relation to the cause of the optic nerve damage. A simple test (gonioscopy) can help your doctor know what type of glaucoma may be present. Treatment is based on the type of glaucoma.
|Primary Medical Reviewer||Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine|
|Specialist Medical Reviewer||Christopher J. Rudnisky, MD, MPH, FRCSC - Ophthalmology|
|Last Revised||February 28, 2012|
Last Revised: February 28, 2012
Author: Healthwise Staff
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