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What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is the name given to a group of eye diseases in which the optic nerve at the back of the eye is slowly destroyed.

In most people this damage is due to an increased pressure inside the eye - a result of blockage of the circulation of aqueous, or its drainage. In other patients the damage may be caused by poor blood supply to the vital optic nerve fibres, a weakness in the structure of the nerve, and/or a problem in the health of the nerve fibres themselves.

Over 300,000 Australians have glaucoma.

While it is more common as people age, it can occur at any age. As our population becomes older, the proportion of glaucoma patients is increasing.

Glaucoma facts and tips

* Regular eye examinations are the key to diagnosis and more effective treatment for glaucoma.

* There is a significant increased risk of developing glaucoma if you have a family history of glaucoma, diabetes, migraine, short sightedness (myopia), eye injuries, blood pressure or past or present use of cortisone drugs (steroids).

* If you have a family member who has glaucoma, you have about a four times greater likelihood of developing the disease.

* While initially there are few symptoms from glaucoma, in some cases patients may note blurred vision, coloured rings around lights, loss of side vision and/or pain and redness of the eye.

* Glaucoma can be treated effectively, especially if detected early. Treatment options include eye drops, laser and surgery.

* If you have glaucoma, encourage your family to visit an optometrist to have their eyes examined regularly.

Call Winks Eyecare now on 5281 2848 Bannockburn or

03 5277 1561 North Geelong to have your glaucoma check-up