Glaucoma is a common eye condition that can be treated if caught in the early stages.
Your eyes are filled with fluid that is continually being produced and then drained. If the fluid doesn’t drain away properly then the pressure on the back of the eye builds up, causing nerve damage which leads to glaucoma. This damage might also occur if the fluid drainage and pressure is normal, but the nerves are weak.
Some groups of people are statistically more likely to suffer from glaucoma:
There are two types of glaucoma - chronic and acute.
Treatment for chronic glaucoma is extremely effective when the condition is caught in the early stages. Eye drops are the most common treatment and work by reducing the amount of fluid in the eye and improving drainage. Tablets, laser treatment and surgery may also be recommended, especially if the condition is more advanced.
Acute glaucoma is serious and requires immediate treatment in hospital. Drugs will be given to reduce the pressure and any pain, and laser treatment or minor surgery will usually be required. The treatment is painless and treating both eyes at the same time is often recommended to stop the condition developing in the other eye.
If you’re worried you may have glaucoma, you should visit your optician or doctor at the earliest opportunity.