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What is glaucoma?

This is the name for a group of eye conditions in which the optic nerve (at the back of the eye) is damaged.

How does the damage usually happen?

By increased pressure from fluid in the eye. The amount of damage depends on the amount of pressure and how long it has lasted.

Chronic glaucoma

The danger with chronic glaucoma (slow onset) is that your eyesight may seem perfectly normal. There is no pain, but your peripheral vision (side vision) is being damaged. Eventually your central vision is affected. At this stage we describe it as ‘tunnel’ vision (like looking down a long tube).


How is chronic glaucoma detected?

The tests are very straightforward. Most optometrists (opticians) do them by:

  • viewing the optic nerve at the back of the eye with a special light
  • measuring the pressure in the eye
  • checking the peripheral (side) vision

Who is most at risk of chronic glaucoma?

  • People over the age of 40
  • People of African-Caribbean origin earlier than age 40
  • People with a close relative who has chronic glaucoma