Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases which result in damage to the optic nerve and vision loss.
The most common type is open-angle glaucoma with less common types including closed-angle glaucoma and normal-tension glaucoma. Open-angle glaucoma develops slowly over time and there is no pain. Side vision may begin to decrease followed by central vision resulting in blindness if not treated. Closed-angle glaucoma can present gradually or suddenly. The sudden presentation may involve severe eye pain, blurred vision, mid-dilated pupil, redness of the eye, and nausea. Vision loss from glaucoma, once it has occurred, is permanent.
Risk factors for glaucoma include increased pressure in the eye, a family history of the condition, migraines, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
Glaucoma can be treated with eye drops, laser treatment or surgery. But early diagnosis is important because any damage to the eyes cannot be reversed. Treatment aims to control the condition and minimise future damage.
If left untreated, glaucoma can cause blindness. But if it's diagnosed and treated early enough, further damage to vision can be prevented.
Attending regular appointments to your ophthalmologist will help to ensure any signs of glaucoma can be detected early and allow treatment to begin.