Glaucoma- the thief of sight
18 Nov 2016
Glaucoma is the name given to a group of eye conditions. The main nerve in the eye (the optic nerve) becomes damaged, usually as a result of increased pressure in the eye. This can lead to misty and patchy vision which worsens if left untreated.
The most common form of glaucoma in the UK has no obvious symptoms in the early stages, but advanced glaucoma can lead to serious loss of sight. With early diagnosis, careful monitoring and regular use of treatments, the vast majority of people will retain useful sight for life.
Is it common?
Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of preventable blindness in the UK. It is estimated that there are 600,000 people with glaucoma, with half of those undiagnosed. It affects two per cent of people over the age of 40 and this rises to five per cent of people over the age of 80.
Who is at greatest risk?
- Anyone over the age of 40
- Close relatives of a family member with glaucoma
- People with diabetes
- People who are very short-sighted
- People of African or South East Asian descent
- People who are long-sighted
How is it treated?
Most people with glaucoma are given eye drops to lower their eye pressure but in some cases tablets, laser treatment or surgery is appropriate.
The International Glaucoma Association is here to help anyone who wants more information about glaucoma diagnosis, treatment and living with the condition. Our Sightline operators can be contacted on 01233 64 81 70, or information can be found on www.glaucoma-association.com. We have a Facebook page (International Glaucoma Association) and tweet @Tweet IGA.