What is glaucoma?
Glaucoma is the name given to a number of different conditions which all end up causing damage to the sight nerve (optic nerve) as it leaves the back of the eye.
This damage causes loss of sight, but usually this causes no symptoms at all until the disease is very advanced. Even people with quite advanced sight loss from glaucoma may not be aware of any problem, because the brain fails to register that the vision has gone missing, similar to the way that we are not troubled by the large blind area behind our head!
Once damage is done in glaucoma, there is no way of restoring the vision that has been lost.
Glaucoma is a serious, but treatable, condition. Approximately 10% of people who become registered blind in the UK, go blind as a result of glaucoma. Despite this worrying fact, most glaucoma is very treatable; the most important things are early diagnosis and appropriate treatment.