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What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is an eye condition that can damage peripheral vision; it develops when the pressure inside the eyeball becomes higher than it should. This can happen suddenly or it can be more gradual; chronic glaucoma usually develops over several years and can be prevented by treatments that lower eye pressure.

Symptoms of glaucoma

There are multiple symptoms to identify glaucoma, these include:

  • Hazy or blurred vision
  • Sudden sight loss
  • Rainbow-colored circles in vision around bright lights
  • Severe eye and head pain
  • Nausea or vomiting (accompanying severe eye pain)
  • Tender eye area
  • Redness of the eye


There are four types of glaucoma, these are chronic open-angle glaucoma, acute angle-closure glaucoma, secondary glaucoma and developmental glaucoma.

The most common type of glaucoma is chronic open angle glaucoma or primary open angle glaucoma, also known as POAG for short. This is the chronic glaucoma that develops slowly over several years as a result of the pressure in the eyeball becoming elevated with age. The underlying cause is the gradual blockage of tiny drainage channels that allows fluid to pass out of the eye to control eye pressure.

Tests could involve having your eyes examined with a slit lamp and biomicroscope to check for damage to your optic nerve and a test to assess your peripheral vision. A photograph may be taken of your optic disc so that any future changes can be assessed.

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