Document Type


Original Publication Date


Journal/Book/Conference Title

Ophthalmology and Eye Diseases



First Page


Last Page


DOI of Original Publication



Originally published at

Date of Submission

November 2015


Glaucoma involves a characteristic optic neuropathy, often with elevated intraocular pressure. Before 1850, poor vision with a normal eye appearance, as occurs in primary open-angle glaucoma, was termed amaurosis, gutta serena, or black cataract. Few observers noted palpable hardness of the eye in amaurosis. On the other hand, angle-closure glaucoma can produce a green or gray pupil, and therefore was called, variously, glaucoma (derived from the Greek for glaucous, a nonspecific term connoting blue, green, or light gray) and viriditate oculi. Angle closure, with palpable hardness of the eye, mydriasis, and anterior prominence of the lens, was described in greater detail in the 18th and 19th centuries. The introduction of the ophthalmoscope in 1850 permitted the visualization of the excavated optic neuropathy in eyes with a normal or with a dilated greenish-gray pupil. Physicians developed a better appreciation of the role of intraocular pressure in both conditions, which became subsumed under the rubric “glaucoma”.


Copyright © 2015 the author(s), publisher and licensee Libertas Academica Ltd. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons CC-BY-NC 3.0 License.

Is Part Of

VCU Biostatistics Publications

f_SupplementaryMaterial32004_6849.docx (78 kB)
Supplementary Files 1