glaucoma Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a term that describes a group of eye conditions that affect vision.
Glaucoma often affects both eyes, usually in varying degrees. One eye may develop glaucoma quicker than the other. Glaucoma occurs when the drainage tubes (trabecular meshwork) within the eye become slightly blocked. This prevents eye fluid (aqueous humour) from draining properly. When the fluid cannot drain properly, pressure builds up. This is called intraocular pressure. This can damage the optic nerve (which connects the eye to the brain) and the nerve fibres from the retina (the light-sensitive nerve tissue that lines the back of the eye).

Treating glaucoma
Glaucoma can be treated with eye drops, laser treatment or surgery. However, early diagnosis is important because any damage to the eyes cannot be reversed. Treatment aims to control the condition and minimise future damage. If left untreated, glaucoma can cause visual impairment. But if it is diagnosed and treated early enough, further damage to vision can be prevented.

Preventing glaucoma
Attending regular optician appointments will help to ensure any signs of glaucoma can be detected early and allow treatment to begin.You are entitled to a free NHS eye test if you are over 40 years old and have a first-degree relative (mother, father, sister or brother) with glaucoma. Risk factors include Myopia (Short-Sight), Family History, Afro-Caribean and Chinese ethnicity, Diabetes, High Hyperopia (Long Sight). Instrumentation used includes OCT (see 3D scan (link)), Visual Fields (peripheral vision), Tonometry (measure of the pressure of your eye), Pachymetry (thickness of your cornea), and Volk Bio-microscopy (retina optic nerve head).