What Is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is an ocular disease that causes damage to your optic nerve and progressively becomes worse over time. In most cases, the damage is caused through an increase in pressure inside the eye. Glaucoma is more common in the ageing population. In Australia, it is estimated that over 300,000 people have glaucoma, 50% of these are undiagnosed.
Glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness worldwide.

What Causes Glaucoma?

Commonly, the cause of Glaucoma is due to the increase pressure in the eye (Intraocular Pressure). This occurs when the fluid (aqueous humour) isn’t being circulated normally at the front of the eye.

The aqueous humour flows out of the eye through a mesh like channel (best described as the eyes drainage system) which maintains a steady pressure in the eye. In patients with glaucoma, this channel can get blocked therefore causing a fluid build up leading to glaucoma progression. Glaucoma often runs in families, but doctors still can’t explain the direct cause of the blockage.

Glaucoma is generally a bilateral condition affecting both eyes. However, it can progress differently between the eyes. It leads to a loss of peripheral vision and in extreme cases tunnel vision. It is an irreversible condition but it can be treated.