Glaucoma in its earliest form is completely asymptomatic, you will not know at all that you have it. The only way for it to be picked up is when you have a pressure test which is reading high.
Now that doesn’t always necessarily mean that you have damage to your eye but it is suggestive and it means that you need a consultation with a glaucoma specialist.
In its very advanced form, glaucoma reduces your vision and it starts usually from the outside. So the peripheral vision is much more affected first and it may be, that if it’s been undiagnosed, you’ll start to find that you don’t notice people coming down the side of you when you’re walking on the pavements. You may well notice that particularly in the evening the glare from car headlights gets worse and you will notice that your vision in low light is not quite as good. Obviously, we don’t want you to get to that stage, we want to pick it up early so that we can stop it in its tracks from getting any worse.
So glaucoma does damage the vision over time and that vision can’t be brought back. We want to pick it up early so that we can do something about it. And if something is done the vast majority of people will maintain their vision and their driving vision lifelong.
Ms Laura Crawley is a Consultant Ophthalmologist at Clinica London. Her special expertise is in treating glaucoma patients as well as patients with glaucoma and cataracts. She has a lot of experience in treating glaucoma, and has published extensively in scientific journals and on medical education. She still does a lot of emergency operations at the emergency department at the Charing Cross and Western Eye Hospitals for the NHS. At Clinica London she is responsible for glaucoma patients and glaucoma patients with cataracts. She also sees patients with general eye problems.