Glaucoma is the name given to a group of conditions in which the Optic Nerve sustains damages where it leaves the eye.

In many cases, this damage is associated with a rise in pressure within the eye. As the pressure builds, it compresses the fragile blood vessels supplying the optic nerve, which sends messages to the brain. If left untreated, this can lead to irreversible damage to the optic nerve.

What Causes Glaucoma?

A clear liquid called aqueous humor flows through the eye nourishing the lens, iris, and cornea. When the delicate mesh that forms the drainage system becomes restricted or completely blocked, the liquid continues to flow into the eye and pressure builds up.

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What Causes Glaucoma?

The most common form of Glaucoma, Open Angle, starts gradually and gives no warning symptoms, until a very late stage, when much irreversible damage has been done to the field of vision.

Without treatment it can progress to complete blindness.

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A much less common form of Glaucoma, Acute Closed Angle, starts with severe pain in the eye, headache, blurring of vision, halos around sources of light, and darkening at the outer edges of your sight (Peripheral Vision).

This needs immediate treatment.

Diagnosing Glaucoma

Annual eye examination is essential as an eye health check In addition to the normal test, it is important to ask for the pressure within the eye to be measured and the field of vision to be checked.

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These three tests together are four times more effective in the detection of Glaucoma than the standard eye test alone.

The elderly and nearsighted, those with a family history of Glaucoma, and people of Afro-Caribbean origin are particularly at risk.