What is Glaucoma

The optic nerve carries visual information from the retina of the eye to the brain via a complex array of more than one million nerve fibres. Glaucoma generally occurs when the normal fluid pressure inside the eyes slowly rises over time.

Rather than being a single disease, this increase in pressure causes a group of conditions that can damage the nerve fibres, causing progressive loss of peripheral vision and ultimately blindness, if the condition remains undiagnosed and untreated.

How Glaucoma is treated

Your eye surgeon will initially undertake a series of diagnostic tests to measure pressure inside your eye and to assess the state of your peripheral vision. If these investigations confirm the presence of Glaucoma you may be prescribed eye drops to reduce the intraocular pressure, either by reducing the production or by increasing the drainage of fluid (aqueous humour) from the eyes. If use of this medication alone does not reduce the pressure within the eye, then your eye surgeon may recommend further treatment.

Who is at risk

Anyone can develop Glaucoma. However some people may be at higher risk than others. They include:

  • Adults over 45 years old
  • Those of black African descent
  • Anyone with myopia (short-sightedsness), high intraocular pressure or a previous eye injury
  • Families with a history of Glaucoma
  • Those sufferering from migraines or diabetes
  • People with cardio-circulatory conditions, including high blood pressure and vasospasm (poor circulation)