What Causes Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is actually a group of eye diseases, not just one disease. Glaucoma can exist in many forms, and can be the result of a number of different factors.

Generally speaking, there are two major categories of glaucoma: open-angle glaucoma and narrow-angle or angle-closure glaucoma. But there are also secondary causes of these two major types, as well as developmental forms of glaucoma that occur in babies, children, and adolescents.

The buttons below link to discussions about the causes of various forms of glaucoma. To better understand the types and causes of glaucoma, we must first discuss some aspects of eye anatomy and how the eye functions.

The eye produces a fluid called aqueous humor, which provides nutrition to the eye, as well as maintains the eye in a pressurized state. The aqueous humor is continually produced, and drains out of the trabecular meshwork, which is a network of cells and scaffolding material that sits in an area called the drainage angle.

The angle can be thought of as the angle between the iris and the cornea, although that is an oversimplification. This drainage angle wraps 360 degrees around the circumference of the front part of the eye.

Causes of Open-Angle Glaucoma

Causes of Angle-Closure Glaucoma

Causes of Secondary Glaucoma

Causes of Developmental Glaucoma

Don't miss out.
Receive research updates, inspiring stories, and expert advice
Please enter your first name.
Please enter your last name.
Keep me informed about: *
Please select at least one.
You must select at least one disease category.

Related Experts & Advice

  • Woman holding her right eye in discomfort
    Expert

    Common Causes of Eye Pain

    Learn about the nerve that is involved in many causes of eye pain and discomfort.

    December 18, 2020
  • Accessible Voting Machine
    Expert

    Making an Accessible Voting Plan

    As the 2020 election is quickly approaching on Tuesday, November 3rd, now is a great time to make your voting plan. In addition to reviewing the dates, deadlines, locations, and requirements for in-person or absentee voting in your state, for people with disabilities and impairments, it’s also important to know what your options are for accessible voting.

    October 14, 2020