Symptoms and Signs of Normal-Tension Glaucoma

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 10/29/2021

Doctor's Notes on Normal-Tension Glaucoma

Normal-tension glaucoma (NTG) is a loss of vision even though the pressure inside the eye is normal or low. Other than the gradual loss of vision in the eye, there are no signs or symptoms.

The cause of normal-tension glaucoma is likely optic nerve damage despite normal or low eye pressure. The disease may run in families and be inherited, with risk factors of anatomic abnormalities where the optic nerve crosses bone or by irregularities in blood flow to the optic nerve. Associated risk factors include

What Is the Treatment of Normal Pressure Glaucoma?

There are very many drugs (over 30) that may be used alone or in combination to treat normal pressure glaucoma. Their use is intended to reduce intraocular pressure and prevent damage to the optic nerve. The following is a list of drug types your eye doctor may choose for your problem:

  • Alpha agonists: decrease eye fluid, increases drainage
  • Beta-blockers: decrease eye fluid production
  • Carbonic anhydrase inhibitors: decrease eye fluid
  • Cholinergic: increase eye fluid drainage
  • Prostaglandin analogs: increase eye fluid outflow
  • Rho kinase inhibitors: improves fluid outflow

Eye surgery may be done if medications fail. There are two major types:

  • Laser surgery can open the eye's drainage system.
  • Incisional surgery makes a hole to make an artificial drain in the eye to reduce pressure.

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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.