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Glaucoma: The Sneak Thief of Sight

On the 5th of March, the world observes World Glaucoma Day in response to the growing number of people living with the disease globally. Every person, old and young, with a set of eyes, should be aware of the risks related to this disease. 

Glaucoma is a condition where abnormally high-pressure in your eye – referred to as intraocular pressure – damages your eye’s optic nerve and could potentially lead to blindness if untreated. Although people of all ages are at risk of glaucoma, senior citizens are at a higher risk as well as people with a family history of glaucoma. 

Depending on the type of glaucoma an individual has, symptoms may vary. One of the most common types of glaucoma is Open-Angle glaucoma, which develops slowly and gradually deteriorates your vision. This type of glaucoma has no warning signs and is not painful until it is too late. 

Acute Angle-Closure Glaucoma is another type, which is rare – symptoms include severe eye pain, nausea, vomiting, blurred vision, reddening of the eye, sudden onset of visual disturbance, often in low light. This typically happens when the flow of the aqueous humour outside of the eye is blocked and pressure inside of the eye becomes too high very quickly. This type has to be treated quickly as it may lead to permanent loss of vision.

Despite the fact that there are no known ways of preventing glaucoma, there are various medications which can put a stop to the growing progression of glaucoma by reducing elevated intraocular pressure (IOP), meaning the sooner it is diagnosed, the quicker the damage to the optic nerve can be halted.

Early detection may be the only way to save your vision, so, be sure to book an eye examination with your trusted Vision Works optometrist especially if you fall in the high-risk groups. 

How do Optometrists check for Glaucoma? They will likely check your optic nerve for signs of the disease, do a tonometry test to evaluate your eye pressure and a visual field test to assess your peripheral vision. This is part of our comprehensive test.