What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is an eye disease that causes loss of sight by damaging a part of the eye called the optic nerve. This nerve sends information from your eyes to your brain. When glaucoma damages your optic nerve, you begin to lose patches of vision, usually side (peripheral) vision. overtime, glaucoma may also damage straight ahead (central) vision. You may not notice a loss of side vision until you have lost great deal of your sight.

Global Facts About Glaucoma

Glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness worldwide. About 70-100 million people are affected worldwide, with 10% of these people blind.

Who is at Risk of Having Glaucoma?

  • AGE: The older your are, the greater your risk. Anyone above 40 years must have routine eye examination.
  • RACE: People of Africa descendant are four times more likely to develop glaucoma. the disease occurs at an earlier age and is more aggressive in Africans.

  • Family History: If you have a parent, brother or sister with glaucoma, you are more likely to get glaucoma too. If you have glaucoma, your family members should have a complete eye examination.
  • Myopia: If you are highly short sighted, you have a higher risk of developing glaucoma

Other Risk Factors

  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Migraine
  • Previous Eye Injuries

What Else?

If you have glaucoma, further tests would be done. This include:

  • Anterior segment examination
  • Gonioscopy
  • Retinal nerve fibre layer analysis
  • Fundus photography

Can Blindness From Glaucoma Be Prevented?

Yes, blindness from glaucoma can be prevented if diagnosed early and appropriately treated.

How Would I know I Have Glaucoma?

Glaucoma may give you no symptoms until it becomes advanced. The only way to know is to to go for eyes screening with an Ophthalmologist.

How Is Glaucoma Diagnosed?

When you schedule an appointment with your Ophthalmologist, the following should be done:

  1. Visual Acuity: To asses how far you can see.
  2. Tonometry: To measure the pressure in the eye.
  3. Pachymetry: Measure the thickness of the cornea. Cornea thickness affects the true intraocular pressure measurement if thinner or thicker than average.
  4. Fundoscopy: To asses your optic nerve head for changes which occur in glaucoma. An eye drop may be used to dilate the eye for proper viewing. this would cause vision to blur. it is advisable you ask someone else to drive when you go for eye screening.
  5. Visual Field: Asses the extent of your vision, and also the effects of glaucoma on your peripheral and central vision

How Is Glaucoma Treated?

  • Glaucoma can not be cured, and damage can not be reversed. But with appropriate treatment, the eye pressure can be lowered to level where further damage to the optic nerve is not likely to occur.
  • Depending on the type and severity of glaucoma, your Ophthalmologist may place you on medical, laser or surgical treatment or a combination of these
  • When you have glaucoma, it must be treated for the rest of your life.

What Should I Do Now?

  • Do have your eyes examined today
  • Don’t turn blind to glaucoma!

For more enquires, contact our Ophthalmologist at the address stated on this website.