Pictures of Glaucoma

Pictures One and Two below are normal eyes. The orange-pink background is the typical appearance of the back of the eye. The blood vessels seen are veins and arteries that feed the cells in the back of the eye.


The optic nerve is the yellowish round structure. The blood vessels come right through the nerve into the retina. The macula is the reddish area near the middle of the photograph. The macula represents a high density of cone cells. 

PICTURE TWO – NORMAL EYE WITH VISABLE OPTIC CUP (White area in the middle of the nerve)

The optic cup is the white area inside the optic nerve. There is virtually no cupping in Photograph One. It is the most critical structure when looking for glaucoma. As glaucoma progresses, the optic cup becomes larger and more white. This occurs because cells are dying. 

PICTURE THREE – GLAUCOMA EYE (Notice the large cup or white area in the middle of the optic nerve)

Above is shown a glaucoma eye where the optic cup has become enlarged due to high pressures.

PICTURE FOUR- Drance Hemorrhage

The red vessel located at about 11 o’clock should not be there. This is called a Drance Hemorrhage and shows up in glaucoma.

PICTURE FIVE – ENLARGED OPTIC NERVE Notice the large cupping or large white area within the nerve

This is an enlargement of an optic nerve with glaucoma.


This photo shows pigment cells that have fallen off the iris (colored part of the eye) and that have stuck to the back side of the cornea. This can clog the fluid drainage of the eye and increase the eye pressure. 


Rubeosis occurs when blood vessels develop on the surface of the iris. Normally blood vessels do not occur here. This can be caused by diabetes, an inflamed or irritated eye and blood vessel disease. These newly formed blood vessels, or neovascularization, can clog the drainage of fluid and thus cause glaucoma.

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Colorado Optometric Glaucoma Society
11960 Lioness Way, Ste 190
Parker, CO 80134
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