Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a condition where vision loss is caused by damage to the optic nerve. While typically associated with older people, there are other risk factors for glaucoma including high or low blood pressure, diabetes, close family with the condition, migraine headaches, long term use of steroid medications, high eye pressure and long or short sightedness.

The optic nerve sends the signals from the eye to the brain that enable us to see. When it becomes damaged, the signals get blocked and vision loss occurs. The damage to the optic nerve is caused by pressure, usually from fluid which presses on the nerve, resulting in progressive damage. Sometimes, glaucoma can occur even if the pressure on the optic nerve is normal. If left untreated, this condition can lead to blindness.

Glaucoma often presents no noticeable symptoms until the eyesight has been affected. Blurred vision, eye redness and headaches may affect some people.

Damage to the optic nerve is irreparable but treatments are available to manage the condition and prevent further damage. These may include eye drops or medications to reduce the pressure on the nerve. Laser or other surgery may be used to improve fluid drainage.

It is the goal of all eye care practitioners to detect and treat glaucoma in its early stages to prevent permanent loss of vision. People over fifty and those at higher risk are urged to have regular eye tests every 2 to 3 years.

Damage to the optic nerve is irreparable but treatments are available to manage the condition and prevent further damage. These may include eye drops or medications to reduce the pressure on the nerve. Laser or other surgery may be used to improve fluid drainage.

It is the goal of all eye care practitioners to detect and treat glaucoma in its early stages to prevent permanent loss of vision. People over fifty and those at higher risk are urged to have regular eye tests every 2 to 3 years.