What is glaucoma?

The following was written by Bill Evans and published in the Coolum and North Shore News, Ask the Professionals page on Friday, 30th November 2012.

Q: What is glaucoma?

A: Glaucoma is a disease that affects the optic nerve, which is located at the back of the eye and responsible for transmitting visual information from the eye to the brain. This nerve can be damaged by increased pressure inside the eye, resulting from poor circulation or drainage of the eye’s aqueous fluid. The optic nerve can also suffer damage in other ways, such as from poor blood supply. People with glaucoma do not suffer any symptoms until irreversible vision loss has occurred in the eye. By the time someone notices a problem, many of their optic nerve fibres may be damaged and a large portion of their vision lost. Many people with advanced glaucoma report losing their peripheral vision, and seeing a “tunnel vision” effect. I encourage everyone over the age of 40 to have a comprehensive eye check every two years to detect glaucoma before damage progresses.