What is primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG)?

Updated: Mar 16, 2020
  • Author: Kristin Schmid Biggerstaff, MD; Chief Editor: Inci Irak Dersu, MD, MPH  more...
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Answer

Primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) is described distinctly as a multifactorial optic neuropathy that is chronic, progressive, and irreversible, with a characteristic acquired loss of optic nerve fibers. Such loss develops in the presence of open anterior chamber angles, characteristic visual field abnormalities, and intraocular pressure that is too high for the continued health of the eye. It manifests by cupping of the optic disc (see the image below) in the absence of other known causes of the disease. [1, 2]

Advanced glaucomatous damage with increased cuppin Advanced glaucomatous damage with increased cupping and substantial pallor of the optic nerve head. Courtesy of M. Bruce Shields, MD.

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