Glaucoma is a serious eye condition that, if left untreated, can eventually lead to blindness. It can develop at any time but is more often diagnosed in later life.
The condition occurs when the eye’s optic nerve, which connects the eye to the brain, becomes damaged. It’s usually caused by a build-up of fluid in the front of the eye which increases the pressure inside the eye.
Are there different types of glaucoma?
There are several types of glaucoma with varying symptoms. Patients who suffer from chronic angle-open glaucoma, generally the most common form of the disease, have symptoms which develop slowly over time, firstly affecting peripheral vision before affecting central vision.
A more severe case of glaucoma is acute angle-closure glaucoma where patients will notice their vision deteriorating much faster and will also suffer from painful symptoms such as headaches as well as sore and red eyes.
What causes glaucoma?
Anyone can develop glaucoma however some factors can increase your risk including:
- Your age. Glaucoma is more common as you get older. It occurs in two per cent of people over the age of 40, increasing to almost 10 per cent of people over the age of 751
- Have experienced trauma to the eye
- Have used steroids for a long period of time
- Suffer from poor vision
- Suffer from diabetes
- Have a family history of glaucoma
What are the symptoms of glaucoma?
Often, there are no symptoms until the disease has advanced, so it’s important to remain vigilant if you experience any changes to your vision. It’s also really crucial that you attend regular eye examinations at least every two years – even if your vision is good – as an optometrist can help detect the disease.
If you start to suffer from any of the following symptoms, contact your optometrist as soon as possible:
- Seeing halos around lights
- Vision loss
- Redness in the eye
- Eyes that look hazy (especially in infants)
- Nausea or vomiting
- Eye pain
How to take action against glaucoma
Early diagnosis is key in preventing serious or permanent sight loss. If you are concerned by any of the symptoms mentioned above, or its time for you to get your eyes checked by an optometrist, book an eye test today with an experienced Optical Express clinician who will carry out a thorough assessment to identify any issues with your eye health.
1 https://www.abdo.org.uk/eyecarefaq/glaucoma/Book an eye test