Partridge Blood, Prostaglandins and Polarimetry – The Past, Present and Future of Glaucoma

1 May 2003
Volume 04, Issue 2

This article looks at how the diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma have changed over the years.


Glaucoma in its open-angle forms is a disease that is still not fully understood. New advances continue to be made both in the earlier diagnosis of glaucomatous optic neuropathy and in the understanding of the pathological processes responsible for its development. This article looks at how the diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma have changed over the years. 

The origin of the term ‘glaucoma’ continues to be controversial. Some have suggested that the haziness of the cornea appears green or aquamarine, an appearance described as ‘glaucous’ from the Greek for ‘greenish’. A Greek term for ‘owl’ is ‘glaux’ (‘γλαυξ’ – not in current usage) and some saw a relationship with the owl’s dilated pupil and gleaming eyes (Gorin 1982). Of course, pupil irregularities and haziness or discoloration of the pupil and cornea can have many causes and it is highly likely that ancient descriptions of ‘glaucoma’ were, in fact, descriptions of cataract. It is not until much more recently that we find more complete descriptions of any of the glaucomas. 

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