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an optic
nerve condition

Glaucoma can be difficult to spot, as the symptoms will
vary depending on severity. Regular eye examinations
are therefore recommended.

There are four
main types of Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a build-up of pressure in the eye that damages the optic nerve.

Chronic open-angle glaucoma – This is the most common form of glaucoma. Pressure within the eye increases when the tubes that allow fluid to flow naturally from the eye become slightly blocked. Often there are no early symptoms, and many people are diagnosed at a regular eye examination. Possible signs include tunnel vision, and a gradual loss of peripheral (side) vision.

Acute angle-closure glaucoma– This often occurs rapidly, with a sudden and more acute blockage to the flow of fluid from the eye. It can be accompanied by severe pain, altered vision (especially in dim light) and blurriness or halos around lights. Other signs include red eyes, headaches, nausea and vomiting.

Secondary glaucoma – an increase in eye pressure can also result from other eye conditions, or from an eye injury, operation or medication.

Developmental glaucoma (congenital glaucoma) – This is usually present at birth or shortly after. The child might not want to open their eyes in the light, and the eye may look cloudy or teary. It is rare, but can be serious, as it is caused by an abnormality of the eye.

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Treating
Glaucoma

Glaucoma can’t be cured, but it can be managed. If left untreated it can cause permanently damaged vision.
For open-angle glaucoma, there are different ways to slow down the pressure build-up to minimise damage: eye drops, oral medication, surgery (including laser surgery) and drainage implants. Closed-angle glaucoma is a medical emergency that must be dealt with immediately to prevent permanent blindness. Eye care specialists will work with patients to manage other types of glaucoma.

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Did you know?
Regular eye exams

Most of us need an eye examination at least every 2 years...

Some people need more regular eye examinations. You should get your eyes examined at least once a year if you have a diagnosed eye condition, if certain medical conditions run
in your family,and if you are you are over 40.

Those of African, Asian and Caribbean origin are more prone to eye diseases and hereditary
problems, so should have annual tests.