Shore Sight Opticians
28 Caen Street
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Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases in which the optic nerve, which connects your eye to your brain, is damaged by the pressure of the fluid inside your eye. The may be because the pressure is higher than normal, or because the nerve is more susceptible to damage from pressure. This may affect one or both of your eyes.
Because you often cannot feel the pressure, and the damage happens slowly, you may not know you have glaucoma until a lot of damage has been done. That damage cannot be put right, so it is particularly important that you find out early. The best way to make sure of this is to have a regular eye examination with an optometrist. If you are at risk of developing glaucoma, you should have an eye examination every two years before the age of forty, or every year after that. If you have glaucoma but do not treat it, your eyesight will gradually get worse and you could eventually go blind. The good news is that treatment with eye ddrops may stop it getting worse.
Glaucoma is more common as we get older and there's a family connection – if someone in your close family has glaucoma, then it's even more important to be seen regularly.
The symptoms of glaucoma can be very slight in its early stages and often go unnoticed by the patient. Glaucoma can cause loss of vision, beginning towards in the sides of your vision, gradually creeping inwards to affect your more central vision too. If untreated, this loss of vision is not reversible.
Testing for glaucoma is usually very straightforward. Our optometrist will check the pressure of the fluids inside your eyes as increased pressure can cause damage to the optic nerve. They will examine your optic nerve itself carefully to see if there are any signs of damage and they will assess your vision for any blind spots that could have been caused by glaucoma's effects.
If you have glaucoma, then treatment is usually very easy – in most cases, drops to lower the eye's pressure will be sufficient to prevent any vision loss. The key with glaucoma is therefore early detection, to spot it before any damage occurs.
For more information, visit www.glaucoma-association.com.
Glaucoma affects the peripheral vision, gradually affecting more central vision as it gets worse.