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What is glaucoma?
This is a group of conditions that affect the nerve of sight at the back of the eye ( the optic nerve). Damage to this nerve causes loss of the field of vision, that can be slowly progressive.
What are the symptoms?
Primary open angle glaucoma (the most common type), does not have any symptoms in the early stages. You are usually not aware that you have it until it is diagnosed by the optician on screening tests. Some less common types of glaucoma can have symptoms of pain and blurred vision.
What tests will I have to diagnose glaucoma?
You will have your eye examined, and in particular we would look at the pressure in the eye, the thickness of the cornea, the drainage angle of the eye and the optic nerve at the back of the eye. We would also do some other tests such as measuring the visual field and taking some pictures of the back of the eye.
Is glaucoma treatable?
Yes. In the vast majority of cases we use eye drops to treat the pressure in the eye. In some cases multiple drops are needed, and laser treatments and surgery are further options if the condition is not controlled.
The key message is “get yourself checked by the optician to see if you have any signs of glaucoma”