What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a group of conditions that damage the eye’s optic nerve over time. The commonest type of glaucoma is known as the “silent thief of sight,” it’s caused by high eye pressure and can lead to permanent blindness if not treated. It causes gradual painless loss of visual field which goes unnoticed by the patient until it is in its advanced state.
This common type of glaucoma is called “Open angle glaucoma”. It is an eye condition known to not show early symptoms in its early stages, so regular eye exams are necessary for detecting it. When symptoms do appear, they might show as blurred vision but can also progress to more severe issues like the loss of side vision if not detected early. Other types of glaucoma are symptomatic with blurred vision and sometimes pain, which can be acute.
Main risk factors for glaucoma include the ageing process, family medical history, and certain health conditions like diabetes. If you have someone in the family who has glaucoma, we recommend making regular appointments with one of our ophthalmologists for a glaucoma check. In addition, those with diabetes are more likely to get glaucoma, and those over 40 should have regular eye exams to prevent severe forms of the disease in the future.
Most glaucomas are characterised by raised eye pressure, or high intraocular pressure, which is measured by the specialist. There is a rare glaucoma known as “low pressure” glaucoma where the eye pressures are always within the normal range, but despite this, nerve loss and visual field loss occurs slowly.