What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a general term for a group of conditions where high intraocular pressure (IOP) causes gradual and irreversible damage to the optic nerve. Initially the peripheral visual fields (side vision) are affected and in very advanced cases there can also be loss of central vision.

There are a number of different types of glaucoma, including acute angle closure glaucoma, in which a very sudden and dramatic rise in intraocular pressure causes severe pain and loss of vision. Much more common is chronic open angle glaucoma which is usually picked up on routine screening examination, often before the patient is aware of any problem at all.


Treatments for glaucoma are aimed at lowering the intraocular pressure to a target level. In most cases this is achieved with the use of daily drops, in more severe cases laser treatment may be necessary or even surgery.

Patients with glaucoma will have regular checks of their intraocular pressure, also ususally have regular visual field examinations and a newer form of retinal nerve fibre layer analysis called OCT (optical coherence tomography).

Related Links: Glaucoma Australia

Articles on Glaucoma

Glaucoma – back to the basics
Saturday, November 14, 2015

Glaucoma – back to the basics

Glaucoma is a group of diseases, where the optic nerve is damaged at the optic nerve head (where the optic nerve is connected to the eye)....

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