In day-to-day life, glaucoma is difficult to detect. In fact, 50% of people with glaucoma in Australia go undiagnosed. Yet glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness worldwide and affects an estimated 300,000 Australians. So, knowing if you have glaucoma is the first critical step in protecting your vision.
“Glaucoma is the silent vision stealer as it progresses slowly causing irreversible blindness without symptoms”.
What happens if you have glaucoma?
Glaucoma ultimately results in damage to your optic nerve which carries vision signals from your eye to your brain. This damage is mostly caused by excessive eye pressure (known as intraocular pressure) which occurs when the eyes natural drainage system malfunctions or becomes blocked.
Does glaucoma progress fast or slow?
Glaucoma can occur both slowly and rapidly depending on the type of glaucoma:
Can glaucoma occur without increased eye pressure?
Yes, a low-tension glaucoma can occur when the optic nerve is naturally fragile, so it is important when being tested for glaucoma that you don’t rely only on a test for eye-pressure (tonometer) but also test the condition of the optic nerve.
What are other types of glaucoma?
While rare, childhood glaucoma is noticeable by enlarged cloudy eyes that water excessively. A secondary glaucoma can also occur as a result of eye injury, eye surgery or some steroid medications which can increase eye pressure.
What causes glaucoma?
It is unknown what specifically causes glaucoma; however, the following factors have been known to increase the risk:
How is glaucoma diagnosed?
Given there are multiple aspects to glaucoma, a collection of tests are needed to provide a full diagnosis. This allows for the most effective and accurate treatment to be applied.
The importance of a regular eye exam
If you match any of the glaucoma risk criteria, having a regular eye exam will ensure you catch glaucoma early. While there is no cure for glaucoma, there are effective treatment options from eyedrops to surgery to prevent further development of glaucoma and protect your precious vision.
Envision Eye Centre is a boutique Ophthalmology practice in Sydney CBD. Our team can diagnose if you have glaucoma and undertake the appropriate treatment. Book an appointment with us to properly diagnose and treat glaucoma so this silent stealer of vision does not impact your life.