Sligo: 071 914 2965

Tubbercurry: 071 918 5540

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases in which the optic nerve, which connects your eye to your brain, is damaged by the pressure of fluid inside the eye. This may be because the pressure is higher than normal, or because the nerve is more susceptible to damage from pressure. It may affect one or both of your eyes.

In most cases you cannot feel the pressure and the damage happens slowly so you may not know you have glaucoma until a lot of damage has been done. This is why routine eye exams are so important even if you feel you don't need one.  If you are at risk of developing glaucoma, this should be done every year or more often or every two year for everyone else.

If you have glaucoma and do nothing about it, your eyesight will gradually deteriorate and you could eventually go blind. Treatment with eye drops may stop it getting worse.

Who gets glaucoma?

Anyone can get glaucoma but you are more at risk if you are:

  • Over 40
  • Very short-sighted
  • Of African or Caribbean origin
  • Closely related to someone with glaucoma

Diagnosing Glaucoma

Regular eye examinations is the only way of catching glaucoma early. There are a number of tests required to diagnose glaucoma:

  1. The optometrist looks at the nerve at the back of the eye using a special torch called an ophthalmoscope or machine called a slit lamp. They may also take a photograph of the nerve.
  2. The optometrist measures the pressure. We don't use drops or the air-puff for most patients. We use drops in certain cases.
  3. The optometrist tests how wide your visual field is, how far you can see around you when looking straight ahead.

Living with Glaucoma

You will be given eye drops to use every day to reduce the pressure and help control the build-up of fluid. You need to go to follow-up appointments and continue to use the drops because you will not be able to tell that the treatment is working.

Driving with Glaucoma

If you have glaucoma in both eyes, this will affect the amount you can see so you may have to take additional tests.

Closed-angle glaucoma

This is a type of glaucoma where the drainage channels of the eye are blocked or damaged. Some people get short bursts of pain and blurred vision as the pupil gets bigger. Other symptoms are an ache in the eye which comes and goes, red eyes or seeing haloes around lights or it can be like looking through mist. If you experience these symptoms you should see your optometrist or doctor immediately.

For more information, please contact your optometrist.

Sligo: +353 (0)71 914 2965
Tubbercurry: +353 (0)71 918 5540
Email: info@mulreanyopticians.ie

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Mulreany Opticians