Glaucoma

about-glaucoma.pngGlaucoma is the name given to a group of of eye conditions which cause optic nerve damage and can affect vision. Chronic glaucoma is the most common type.  As a chronic condition its effects occur slowly over time. In the early days there are no signs or symptoms and eyesight will seem unchanged. As pressure builds up it doesn't cause pain but the vision is irreparably damaged. The peripheral vision, around the edge of what you are looking at, gradually fails. Peripheral vision is not as sensitive as central vision and the changes are often not noticed.

Age is the biggest risk factor with Glaucoma. Everyone over the age of 70 must have a full annual eye examination to monitor for this condition. It can cause huge damage to the vision if undetected, but is easily and for the most part very successfully treated with simple eye drops once properly diagnosed. Glaucoma can cause social isolation as tunnel vision may make interaction more difficult. Mobility may also be severely impaired.

Mild

Early glaucoma in itself produces no symptoms. Where eye drops are prescribed for glaucoma, they must be administered as prescribed to try to prevent furthur damage.

Moderate

Moderate glaucoma may cause some difficulty with safe mobility as the peripherial vision is affected making hazards difficult to see. Where eye drops are prescribed for glaucoma, they must be administered as prescribed to try to prevent further damage.

Severe

Advanced glaucoma can result in tunnel vision, making safe mobility very difficult and often impossible. Also social interaction in crowded spaces can become very distressful. Where eye drops are prescribed for glaucoma, they must be administered as prescribed to try to prevent further damage.  Quality of life may be severely impaired.

During an optomise eye examination we assess for glaucoma. We record and discuss our findings with patient and carer and make appropriate recommendations and onward referral.

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