Published: 11 March 2021 at 10:22
World Glaucoma Day takes place on 12 March 2021. Professor Shahina Pardan from ARU's Vision and Eye Research Institute offers her knowledge and advice.
Glaucoma is a condition in which the eye’s optic nerve is damaged, mostly due an increased pressure in the eye. In some cases, this happens even when the pressure is within normal limits.
Glaucoma is usually asymptomatic and can lead to blindness if not diagnosed or treated. It can cause peripheral visual field defects which may then lead to deficits in central vision loss. Older age, family history and some medications can increase the risk of glaucoma.
Professor Shahina Pardhan from the Vision and Eye Research Institute advises:
"Untreated glaucoma can lead to blindness. It is therefore really important that glaucoma is diagnosed as early as possible so that it can be managed effectively.
"While damage to your vision caused by glaucoma cannot be restored, early detection and treatment can help prevent severe vision loss in the future. Glaucoma tests include measuring the pressure of the eye, a visual field test to examine how well you can see in the peripheral visual field and also with an image of the inner layers of the eye and optic disc to ascertain any changes (with an OCT).
"Screening for glaucoma is carried out by optometrists in the UK and it is therefore vital that, even if you don’t think that you have any eye problems, you should visit your optometrist at least once every two years. Those who have a family history of glaucoma should attend every year."