Chronic (primary open-angle) glaucoma is the commonest type. It has no symptoms until eye sight is lost at a later stage.
Damage progresses very slowly and destroys vision gradually, starting with the side vision. One eye covers for the other, and the person remains unaware of any problem until a majority of nerve fibres have been destroyed, and a large part of vision has been destroyed. This damage is irreversible. It is progressive and usually relentless. Treatment cannot recover what has been lost. But it can arrest, or at least slow down, the damage process. That is why it is so important to detect the problem as early as possible, to be able to start treatment with as little damage to the vision as possible.
Last Reviewed: 28 June 2007