What is Glaucoma

If you are anything like me, you probably think that Glaucoma is the type of avocado based Mexican dip that you would enjoy whilst tucking into some delicious spicy fajitas! I’m sorry to burst your bubble, but Glaucoma isn’t as tasty as it sounds and is something that should be taken very seriously. Glaucoma affects over 600,000 people and is one of the main causes of vision loss in the United Kingdom.

When left untreated, Glaucoma can have damaging effects which can lead to permanent loss of vision. But please don’t panic too much! If you read this blog you’ll be able to protect you and your family against it, which will give you time to relax and go back to enjoying the best parts of life – like avocado based dips from Mexico. 

Glaucoma can affect anyone.

Glaucoma is a condition where the optic nerve, which connects the eye to the brain, becomes damaged.

The condition in its self is rather common, but what a lot of people don’t realise is that people who have Glaucoma won’t realise they have it as symptoms are rare in the early stages. This is why regular trips to the opticians to get your eyes examined is so important! Remember that Glaucoma can affect anyone of any age, however, it is most common in people aged 70+.

What symptoms can you expect?

As mentioned above, Glaucoma rarely has symptoms in the early stages. Many people go unaware that they have Glaucoma because it develops slowly over a period of several years and tends to cause a loss of peripheral vision first.

Glaucoma affects both eyes in most cases however it is also possible for it to be worse in one eye. Without any treatment, the condition will eventually cause the loss of vision. But remember, Glaucoma is easily preventable if you regularly attend your routine eye examinations.

During your next appointment with your opticians, they may be able to see signs of Glaucoma, however, with an advanced eye examination, the symptoms can be spotted straight away, giving you a fighting chance of preventing any long term damage. An advanced eye examination can include a Fundus Camera screening. During these examinations, Glaucoma can be easily observed.

What causes Glaucoma?

The condition is normally caused by a blockage in the part of the eye that allows fluid to drain from it. This then causes a build up and puts pressure on the optic nerve which can result in it getting damaged. Unfortunately, it is still unclear what causes Glaucoma but we know there are some factors that will increase the chances of having the condition which include:

  • Age: Glaucoma is more likely to occur as you get older and most commonly affect people aged 70 and above.
  • Ethnicity: Those who are African, Carribean or of Asian origin are the most likely to develop the condition.
  • Genetics: Unfortunately, Glaucoma can run in the family and can be inherited from those who you are close to such as your mother and father.

If you want more advice on this then book your next appointment here and speak with one of our professionals.