Glaucoma is a complicated disease in which damage to the optic nerve leads to progressive, irreversible vision loss. Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness.  Glaucoma occurs when the nerve cells that transmit information from the eye to the brain become damaged. It can be associated with a build-up of pressure in the eye. Glaucoma is largely symptom-free until permanent damage has occurred, and if untreated can cause blindness. An optometrist can diagnose it in its early stages and refer the patient for treatment. Glaucoma usually affects over 40s and tends to be hereditary.

Complete and thorough assessment for Glaucoma includes Intra Ocular Pressure measurement, Microscopic examination of the optic nerve, Visual Fields Testing and Ocular Coherence Tomography (OCT).

Glaucoma is progressive and can be quite difficult to diagnose in its early stages.  The above tests are usually performed on a regular basis to help us to detect changes as early as possible such that appropriate referral and treatment can be instigated.

More information is available at Glaucoma Research Foundation