Glaucoma is an eye disease that damages the eye’s optic nerve, which can lead to vision loss and eventually blindness.
In most cases, it is caused by increased intraocular pressure (eye pressure), which can be caused by a malfunction of the eye’s drainage.
As it progresses without obvious symptoms, it is often referred to as the “sneak thief of sight”.
Those with the condition may notice that although they are able to see things clearly, they miss objects to the side and out of the corner of their eye.
In severe cases, those with glaucoma may experience the following symptoms:
- Sudden decline in vision quality
- Glare and light sensitivity
- Extreme eye pain and redness
- Nausea and vomiting
If you experience these symptoms, you should go to a hospital immediately to receive treatment.
Anyone can get glaucoma, but there are people who are at higher risk:
- Those with family history of Glaucoma
- Those who have other eye diseases, which may result in increased eye pressure
- Those over the age of 40
- Those with diabetes
There are several tests available to diagnose glaucoma:
- Tonometry (a procedure to check intraocular pressure)
- Funduscopic Examination (the use of a special slit lamp to see the insides of the eye)
- Fundus Viewing – a Consultant Ophthalmologist will examine the retinal to provide accurate diagnosis
- Fundus Photography – Trained staff utilise specialised equipment to capture an image of the inner eye
- Visual Field Analysis (an examination to determine the degree of vision defect)
- Optical Coherence Tomography (a procedure using specialised equipment to evaluate the condition of the optic disc, and monitor the progression of Glaucoma
While there is no treatment for glaucoma, the condition can be managed based on the type and severity of the condition, with the use of:
- Medication (eye drops, tablets, injections to relieve ocular pressure)
- Laser Treatment (the use of laser to clear up the eye’s drainage)
- Surgery (used to improve the eye’s drainage system)
- As glaucoma is a lifelong disease, it is important to continue medication even if the vision has stopped deteriorating.
- Those with glaucoma should visit their ophthalmologists regularly to monitor the progression of the disease, as the condition can lead to blindness if treatment is delayed