In a well defined population, all patients with newly diagnosed primary open angle glaucoma were classified according to the degree of functional damage at diagnosis. A comparison was made between patients with simple and capsular glaucoma. No difference could be found between the 2 types of glaucoma when the severity of visual damage at diagnosis was compared. Eyes with capsular glaucoma were found to have significantly higher intraocular pressure than eyes with simple glaucoma in corresponding glaucoma stage. No obvious correlation between age and functional damage at diagnosis was found.