Ophthalmology. abnormally high fluid pressure in the eye, most commonly caused either by blockage of the channel through which aqueous humor drains (open-angle glaucoma or chronic glaucoma) or by pressure of the iris against the lens, which traps the aqueous humor (angle-closure glaucoma or acute glaucoma)
Origin: 1635–45; < Greekglaúkōma opacity of the eye lens. See glauco-, -oma
1640s, from Gk. glaukoma "cataract, opacity of the lens" (cataracts and glaucoma not distinguished until c.1705), from -oma + glaukos, an adj. of uncertain origin, used in Homer of the sea as "gleaming, silvery" (apparently without a color connotation); used later with a sense
of "bluish-green, gray," of olive leaves and eyes. Homer's glauk-opis Athene could be a "bright-eyed" or a "gray-eyed" goddess. Gk. for "owl" was glauk- from its bright, staring eyes.
angle-closure glaucoman. Primary glaucoma in which increased pressure occurs because outflow of the aqueous humor is mechanically prevented by contact of the iris with the trabecular drainage meshwork and the peripheral cornea. Also called narrow-angle glaucoma.
glaucoma glau·co·ma (glou-kō'mə, glô-) n. Any of a group of eye diseases characterized by abnormally high intraocular fluid pressure, damaged optic disk, hardening of the eyeball, and partial to complete loss of vision.
glaucoma (glou-kō'mə, glô-) Pronunciation Key
A disease of the eye in which the pressure of fluid inside the eyeball is abnormally high, caused by obstructed outflow of the fluid. The increased pressure can damage the optic nerve and lead to partial or complete loss of vision.