Glaucoma Information

What is glaucoma?

Definition: A relative raised pressure causing optic nerve damage and visual field loss

Symptoms: It typically no symptoms until considerable damage has already occured

Types: Not all glaucoma patients have 'high' pressure. Some patients have 'normal tension' glaucoma. These patients have pressures which are too high for their eyes. Others may have pigment/debris blocking the drainage system (pseudoexfoliation, pigment dispersion syndrome). Some may develop sudden pain due to 'acute angle closure' glaucoma or pain could be due to 'rubeotic glaucoma' secondary to a problem in the retina such as diabetes or retinal vein occlusion.

Treatment: Glaucoma treatment is aimed at preventing further loss of vision.  Most glaucoma patients can be treated with eye drops alone. Some may require laser (eg. angle closure glaucoma, pigment dispersion syndrome) or surgical treatment if this is not successful. Your specialist will discuss the appropriate treatment for you and your condition.

Screening: Because glaucoma can be a silent disease where it does not cause pain or visual loss until it has caused considerable damage, the National Institute for Health of Clinical Excellence has devised a screening method which LEC adheres to.