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Glaucoma.  You’ve heard of it, but do you know much about it?

Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases in which the optic nerve, which connects your eye to your brain, is damaged by the pressure of the fluid inside your eye.  There are two main types of glaucoma, the most common is chronic glaucoma, which happens slowly. 

Because there are no symptoms in the early stages of chronic glaucoma the best way to catch it early is to have regular eye examinations.  If your optometrist suspects that you may have glaucoma, they will refer you to an ophthalmologist.  If diagnosis is confirmed, you will be given drops to use every day.  These drops, which do not hurt, will reduce the pressure and help control the build up of fluid.

There is no cure for chronic glaucoma, but it can be treated effectively, normally with eye drops.  You must keep using the drops. If you find it hard to apply them, you can get special bottles or holders to make it easier for you. 

Acute glaucoma is where the drainage channels inside your eye are blocked or damaged in some way. This causes the pressure inside your eye to increase rapidly. Symptoms can be short bursts of pain and/or discomfort and blurred vision. This can happen when your pupils get bigger, so it may be at night, when you are in a dark area (like the cinema) or when you are reading.

Other symptoms include seeing coloured rings around white lights, or it can be a bit like looking through a haze or mist.

If you get these symptoms it is important to act quickly, even if they appear to go away, as your vision may be damaged each time the symptoms occur.

If you have these symptoms but they have gone away, you see your optometrist as soon as possible and mention you have had these symptoms.

If you have these symptoms and they have not gone away, you should go to the Accident and Emergency department of your nearest hospital immediately so that the pain and pressure in the eye can be relieved.

For more information please visit here.

May 2019