What is glaucoma?
Glaucoma is the name for a group of eye conditions in which the optic nerve is damaged at the point at which it leaves the eye. This nerve carries information from the light sensitive layer in your eye – the retina – to the brain, where it is received as a picture.
Your eye needs a certain amount of pressure to keep the eyeball in shape so that it can work properly. In some people, the damage is cause by raised eye pressure. For some, it’s a weakness in the optic nerve. In most cases both factors are involved but to a varying extent.
Eye pressure is largely independent of blood pressure.
There are three main types of glaucoma.
The most common, with chronic meaning slow. The eye pressure rises very slowly and there is no pain to show there is a problem, but the field of vision gradually becomes impaired.
Is much less common and comes on suddenly. This can be quite painful and will cause permanent damage to your sight if not treated promptly.
The name given when there’s a rise in eye pressure caused by another eye condition.
In the UK some form of glaucoma affects around two out of every 100 people over the age of 40.
What can we do?
Mr Puri says:
“There are several different treatments for glaucoma, but we cannot reverse any sight loss which has already occurred, so it is important to have regular check-ups, and contact us as soon as you notice any difference in your vision. Treatment includes eye drops and surgery. Whilst we can’t restore lost vision, we can stop it getting worse.”