Glaucoma is a very common eye condition that often has no symptoms until well after it has been diagnosed. Usually only once a significant loss of vision occurs (approximately 40 %) is it when symptoms become noticeable for patients. Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in the world and presents itself in many forms, Primary Open Angle Glaucoma being the most common. It is therefore very important to carry out regular eye tests to enable your optician to monitor and detect Glaucoma long before you notice any changes in your vision.
Although family history of Glaucoma will increase the risks of this condition, it is not compulsory that only people with a family history will suffer from Glaucoma. Anyone and everyone is at risk of developing Glaucoma and this risk becomes greater with age.
Inside the eye there is a build up of fluid called the Aqueous, which constantly circulates around the eye. This fluid applies pressure on the optic nerve found at the back of the eye and also exerts pressure on the various layers within the retina throughout each day. Similarly like blood pressure, which we all have, the pressure of this fluid within the eye can also be too high or too low and will cause concern with your optician. High fluid pressure may cause nerve fibres to compress and this then may cause these nerves to gradually stop functioning, causing patches of vision loss.
Fortunately there are many tests that can help to detect and monitor Glaucoma so that it can be treated early on. Glaucoma can be managed using eye drops, therefore preventing any significant loss in the vision.