What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a group of diseases causing the optic nerve at the back of the eye to be slowly damaged permanently. In glaucoma, the nerve fibres in the optic nerve are lost at a faster rate than normal. The single greatest risk factor for glaucoma is raised intraocular pressure, however some people can have normal intraocular pressures and still develop glaucoma. Vision loss from glaucoma commonly occurs in the peripheral visual field and may not be noticed until it has become advanced. The most effective way to treat glaucoma is to lower the eye pressure. Approximately 300,000 Australians have glaucoma and many patients may have glaucoma without experiencing any symptoms. The incidence of glaucoma increases with age, but glaucoma can occur at any age. If you have a family history of glaucoma or are worried you may have glaucoma you can make an appointment to have your eyes assessed.