Glaucoma is a name given to a group of eye conditions which cause optic nerve damage and affect vision.

The most common type of glaucoma in

the UK is chronic open angle glaucoma.

Its prevalence increases with age and is about:


2 in 100 people over 40            (= 1 in 50)

5 in 100 people over 65            (= 1 in 20)

Up to 10 in 100 people over 80 (= 1 in 10)


There are additional factors which increase your risk to developing glaucoma, these include:

  • Family history (20% lifetime risk if an immediate family member is affected)
  • Race (People of African and Afro-Caribbean origin)
  • Myopia
  • Other medical conditions (such as migraine, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure & hypothyroidism are associated with increased risk)

Don't wait to feel or see something!

There are typically no early warning signs or symptoms with chronic open angle glaucoma!


By the time that a person is aware of visual field loss, over 30% of nerve fibre damage has already occurred and the disease is in its later stages.


Damage caused by glaucoma is irreversible!

Glaucoma IS NOT only just eye pressure!

People mistakenly believe that checking eye pressure is checking for glaucoma!


This is not the case, in fact, over 40% of people diagnosed as having glaucoma have "normal" eye pressures!


Glaucoma is detected using a battery of tests (not all covered by a "NHS funded Sight Test") and include:

  • Corneal thickness measurement
  • Anterior chamber assessment (Gonioscopy)
  • Visual Field testing
  • Fundus assessment
  • Retinal Nerve Fibre Analysis

More information

Two of our Optometrists work in the Glaucoma Clinics of the Sussex Eye Hospital.


They are available for consultation, and can address any concerns that you may have.


More information about glaucoma can be found at:


NHS Choices - Glaucoma


RNIB - Glaucoma


International Glaucoma Association

Tel: 01273 772 318

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