Glaucoma

glaucoma nerve
Optic nerve showing signs of degeneration

It is a slow sinister disease – here are the facts you need to know:

  • 50% of people with glaucoma in Australia are undiagnosed.
  • Most glaucoma sufferers will have no idea they have the disease for at least 5 years from onset, yet it must be detected as early as possible.
  • If you are over 40, you should be tested for glaucoma every 2 years. Don’t wait until you notice changes.
  • One in 10 Australians over 80 will develop glaucoma.
  • First degree relatives of someone with glaucoma have an 8-fold increased risk of developing the disease.

How is glaucoma diagnosed?

  • examination of the optic nerve at the back of the eye¬†(we have a special machine to scan your optic nerve)
  • measurement of the pressure within the eye
  • a test of the visual fields (peripheral vision)

What is glaucoma?

There is more than one type and they are all complex diseases but at root, glaucoma is a degeneration of the optic nerve, in most cases a slow degeneration over time.

Can glaucoma be treated?

Most people with glaucoma are on medication (eye-drops) which they must continue to use for the rest of their lives.

The medication controls but does not cure the disease.

Who is at risk of getting glaucoma?

Although anyone can get glaucoma, but those with a higher risk have one or more of the following:

  • a family history of glaucoma
  • diabetes
  • migraine
  • short sightedness (myopia)
  • long sightedness (hyperopia)
  • eye injuries
  • blood pressure
  • past or present use of cortisone drugs (steroids)