Glaucoma is a common eye condition in which the optic nerve becomes damaged. Early diagnosis and treatment are essential to prevent vision loss.
Types of glaucoma
- Open angle glaucoma: this is the most common type of glaucoma; it develops slowly and causes gradual damage to eyesight over time.
- Closed angle glaucoma: this can happen very quickly and is painful. It makes your eye red and sore and can cause permanent blindness if untreated.
- Secondary glaucoma: this is caused if you have other eye conditions such as an eye injury but is an uncommon form.
Who is affected?
Glaucoma can affect people of any age but is more common as you get older. You are also more at risk of developing glaucoma if you have a family history of glaucoma or have a medical condition such as type 1 or type 2 diabetes, suffer with high blood pressure or are short-sighted or long-sighted. People of African, Asian and Caribbean origin are also at a higher risk.
In the early stages, glaucoma does not cause any symptoms and usually develops slowly over many years. If there are any symptoms, these usually affect the edges of the vision and there may be some blurring of vision or bright lights.
Although unusual, glaucoma may also occur suddenly causing the following symptoms:
- Severe eye pain
- Blurred vision
- Redness of the eye
- Vision loss
- Watering eyes
- Seeing rings of lights
There may be no symptoms until you start to lose your vision. It is therefore very important to attend routine eye screening so that if you do have the condition it is picked up and treated early and your sight is protected.
The aim of glaucoma treatment is to lower eye pressure to prevent vision loss. Treatment will usually start with eye drops but if it is not possible to control the pressure with these, then laser treatment can be used or very occasionally surgery where the glaucoma is advanced.
Treatment will likely continue for life and attendance at regular ophthalmology appointments is very important to monitor and ensure eye pressure and vision remains stable.
Moore Barlow has considerable experience in dealing with cases involving the management of Glaucoma. If you are concerned about the treatment that you, or a loved one has received, please do not hesitate to contact us for an initial free and no obligation discussion.
Further information and support
For more information about glaucoma and how to manage the disease visit the RNIB website or click here.