Glaucoma: A review for the family physician
Glaucoma is an insidious disease process that causes damage to the optic nerve head and retinal nerve fiber layer, resulting in progressive vision loss. Multiple factors play a role in its pathophysiology, but intraocular pressure is a significant yet modifiable risk factor and therefore is targeted by all current treatment modalities. Its high prevalence and potential for irreversible damage necessitate an understanding of the condition by primary care physicians, who will undoubtedly be managing conditions and medications that can influence glaucomatous progression. This article will explore the pathophysiologic basis of glaucoma, discuss some of the common subtypes and highlight important clinical considerations.