Glaucoma is a name we give to a group of conditions where damage is caused to the optic nerve as it leaves the eye. The optic nerve carries the signal to the brain allowing us to see. When damaged this results in patchy loss of vision with eventual blindness if left untreated. It has a strong association with raised pressure within the eye but some patients have intraocular pressure within the normal range and still manifest glaucoma damage.
In most cases it is a silent disease and once vision is lost due to glaucoma it cannot be recovered. Therefore early diagnosis, care monitoring and adherence to treatment regimes are essential.
2% of people over the age of 40 have glaucoma and this rises as we age.
If you have a first degree relative with glaucoma you have an increased risk.
Pseudoexfoliation glaucoma is associated with Scandinavian and Irish Populations, Asian ethnicity with angle closure glaucoma and Afro-Caribbeans with Primary Open angle glauocma
Shortsighted people (myopia) are at increased risk
risk of a subtype known as angle closure glauocma
Low blood pressure an be associated with glaucoma. This is one of the many reasons that a full medical history is an important component of an eye consultation
It is recommended that people are checked for glaucoma as part of a routine eye test every two years or over the age of 40. However those with a significant family history should attend from the age of 30.