Common Eye Conditions
Glaucoma is a common eye condition and one of Australia’s major causes of blindness. It can affect anyone, at any age, with the risk increasing from about the age of 40.
Glaucoma is a disease of the eye which slowly and permanently destroys the optic nerve at the back of the eye. In most people this damage is due to an increased pressure inside the eye. In other patients the damage may be caused by poor blood supply to the vital optic nerve fibres, a weakness in the structure of the nerve, and/or a problem in the health of the nerve fibres themselves. Eye pressures vary from person to person: there is no such thing as a “normal” pressure.
Generally there are no warning signs or pain associated with glaucoma. The loss of sight is gradual and a considerable amount of peripheral (side) vision may be lost before the person becomes aware of any problem.
Glaucoma is detected by your Optometrist measuring the pressure in the eye, checking the nerve structure at the back of the eye, assessing the drainage angles of the eye and checking the thickness of the cornea. If the Optometrist feels an extra test is needed, they will perform a visual fields tests.
Glaucoma cannot be cured but in most cases can be controlled successfully. This is a life-long condition requiring continuing observation and management to keep ocular pressure under control and to prevent loss of vision or further loss of vision.
Vision damaged by glaucoma is irreversible.
For further information on Glaucoma please refer to www.glaucoma.org.au