Glaucoma is an eye condition where the optic nerve becomes damaged. The optic nerve connects the eye to the brain. The damage is usually caused by fluid building up in eye, which increases pressure inside the eye. If left untreated glaucoma can lead to loss of vision or even blindness.


Symptoms of glaucoma

Glaucoma develops slowly over many years and affects peripheral vision first. Many people don’t notice peripheral vision loss  which means it can often only be picked up during a routine test.


If you do notice any symptoms, could be:

  • intense eye pain
  • nausea and vomiting
  • a red eye
  • a headache
  • tenderness around the eyes
  • seeing rings around lights
  • blurred vision


Types of glaucoma

There are 4 types of glaucoma.

  • Open angle glaucoma. This is the most common type of glaucoma.
  • acute angle closure glaucoma
  • secondary glaucoma
  • childhood glaucoma (congenital glaucoma)


Causes of glaucoma

Most cases of glaucoma are caused by a build-up of pressure in the eye when fluid is unable to drain properly.


Certain things can increase the risk of this, such as[1]:

  • your age – it affects you more as you get older
  • your ethnicity – people of African, Caribbean or Asian origin are at a higher risk
  • your family history – you’re more likely to develop glaucoma if you have a parent or sibling with the condition
  • other medical conditions – such as short-sightedness, long-sightedness and diabetes


Tests for glaucoma

Glaucoma can usually be detected during a routine eye test at an opticians, and you should have a routine test at least every 2 years.

There are 5 different types of tests that can be done for glaucoma which are[2]:

  • Tonometry
  • Ophthalmoscopy
  • Perimetry
  • Gonioscopy
  • Pachymetry


Treatments for glaucoma to reduce pressure

  • eye drops
  • laser treatment
  • surgery


To see our full range of devices used to measure and detect glaucoma, visit our products page.