What is glaucoma?

Glaucoma is the collective name for a group of eye diseases that result in damage to the optic nerve resulting in vision loss. Some of the different types are shown below:

Risk Factors of Glaucoma

What increases the risk of glaucoma?

Increasing Age

Glaucoma is much more prevalent in later years and this is the biggest single risk factor.

Eye Pressure

High pressure in the eye is a risk for developing glaucoma, although some people may have high eye pressure for years and never develop damage. This is known as ocular hypertension (OHT).


A family history of glaucoma increases the risk of glaucoma starting.


Long-term use of steroid medication can mean some people are more likely to develop glaucoma.


Women have a higher risk of having closed-angle glaucoma.


Certain ethnic groups have a greater risk of developing glaucoma. People of Asian decent are at greater risk of closed-angle glaucoma and people with Afro-Caribbean ethnicity are more likely to develop open-angle glaucoma.

Treatments For Glaucoma

Slowing own the onset and minimising damage

  • Eye Drops:
    If glaucoma is diagnosed early enough, it is possible to slow or stop the progression of disease with medication – topical eyedrops.
  • Laser Treatment:
    For some people whose disease does not respond to drops, laser treatment may be necessary.
  • Surgery:Surgery will be used for individuals who continue to have optic nerve damage despite other forms of treatment.

The Aim of Glaucoma Treatments

The goal of these treatments is to decrease eye pressure and so lead to slowing down or even stopping the progressive damage to the optic nerve. Vision loss from glaucoma, once it has occurred, is permanent, and so treatment is designed to safeguard the remaining visual capabilities and cannot restore what has been lost. This is why early detection, using an OCT 3D scan of the nerve fibres is so important. The treatment of sudden onset closed-angle glaucoma is a medical emergency and needs urgent referral.