Glaucoma and what to look out for

Glaucoma and what to look out for

With World Glaucoma week just around the corner, we put together a post to help you understand what glaucomas are and how they can be treated.

What is Glaucoma?

Any chronic, progressive and degenerative disorder that damages the optic nerve is called Glaucoma. In other words, Glaucoma is any disease that affects the nerve that transmits what the eye sees to your brain. Glaucomas can cause blindness, and irreversible damage to your vision, so it is imperative that we spot them early and treat them as soon as possible.

Who is at risk of Glaucoma?

Glaucoma currently affects over 80 million people worldwide. Unfortunately, approximately half of these individuals are unaware that they even have a degenerative eye disease. This is because people often don’t experience any noticeable symptoms at the beginning. So, who is at risk of contracting Glaucoma?

People who:

  • have a family history of Glaucoma
  • have high eye pressure
  • are over 50
  • are of African or Asian descent
  • have diabetes, heart disease or sickle cell anaemia
  • have corneas that are thin in the centre
  • are vision-impaired – are long or short-sighted
  • experience migraines
  • have taken cortisone (steroid) medication continuously over a prolonged period
  • have had an eye injury
  • have a history of abnormal blood pressure
  • experience obstructive sleep apnoea

What causes Glaucoma?

 Glaucoma is the result of optic nerve damage. This is often caused by a build-up of pressure in your eye. A build-up of internal fluid causes the pressure. Extra fluid can be built up when the drainage system is partially blocked by one thing or another or due to an overproduction of fluid.

What are the symptoms of Glaucoma?

Glaucoma can be difficult to detect. However, here are obvious symptoms to look out for:

  • Blind spots in your vision – can occur both in your peripheral or central vision and often occurs in both eyes
  • Tunnel vision
  • Severe headaches
  • Eye pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Blurred vision
  • Halo’s appearing around lights
  • Eye redness

How can we prevent or early-detect Glaucoma?

Preventing or early-detecting Glaucoma comes down to being vigilant.

Here are our top four tips:

  1. Get regular dilated eye examinations.

Comprehensive eye exams help detect Glaucoma before the onset of significant damage. We always recommend yearly check-ups, as well as more extensive examinations every five to 10 years for anyone under 40 years old and two to four years for anyone above 40. Book an appointment now to discuss the best screening schedule for you and your family.

  1. Understand your family history of Glaucoma.

Glaucomas can be genetic. Therefore, it is important you understand your inherent risk of developing Glaucoma.

  1. Exercise regularly

Exercise can prevent Glaucoma by reducing eye pressure.

  1. Wear eye protection

Serious eye injuries lead to Glaucoma. So, protect your eyes when in high-risk situations such as using power tools or playing intensive ball sports.

Glaucomas can be extremely severe if left untreated. So with World Glaucoma Week this March 6th-12th, it’s a good time to book an appointment and check up on the health of our eyes to make sure everything is in tip-top shape.

To book an appointment, call us on (03) 9841 5798 or click here.


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