What is Glaucoma?

When you have glaucoma, the optic nerve is damaged at the point where it leaves the eye. Sometimes the damage may result from an increase in eye pressure. This happens when fluid (Aqueous Humour) in the front of the eye (anterior chamber) doesn’t drain away properly. Usually the amount of fluid produced is balanced by the amount draining away, so the pressure in the front of the eye stays constant. If you have glaucoma, the pressure within the eye can be so high that the optic nerve may be damaged and the patient may lose their sight.


Glaucoma can also result from a weakness with the optic nerve, which can lead to damage even when the pressure in the eye appears normal. In most people who have  glaucoma, the condition is caused by both high pressure and a weakness in the optic nerve but to varying extents. Early treatment can prevent sight loss.


With chronic or secondary glaucoma, you may not notice any symptoms until sight deteriorates considerably. This is because the first part part of your sight to be affected is the outer or peripheral field of vision. Central vision, used to focus on an object isn’t normally affected until much later on in the disease. Acute glaucoma tends to come on very quickly.


Signs and Symptoms:
Loss of sight
Blurred vision or halo around lightsNausea
White of the eye may look red


Prevention and early detection of glaucoma
Regular eye tests are important to check for early signs of Glaucoma. The optometrist will be looking for this upon examination. If you have a family history of glaucoma, it is particularly important to be tested regularly from the age of 40, as the risks of developing it are greater at this age. If we find the early signs. You will be referred for assessment. They may treat with eyedrops, laser treatment or surgery if necessary.


The earlier the problem is detected, the more chance of preserving vision.


Ophthalmic Care Opticians
753 Alum Rock Road Birmingham
West Midlands B8 3PX

Telephone: 0121 327 2378
Email: info@ocopticians.com

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