Glaucoma is the name for a group of eye conditions in which the optic nerve (the nerve at the back of the eye) is damaged, often in association with raised pressure within the eye. This leads to a reduction in the field of vision and in the ability to see clearly. In most cases the patient will experience no symptoms until significant damage has occurred.
Who is at risk from glaucoma?
People aged 40 and over are at greater risk from glaucoma and there is an increasing risk with every decade of life. Those with a family history of glaucoma in close relatives, or in certain ethnic groups (e.g. Afro-Caribbean people) are considered to have a greater than average risk. People who diabetic or very short-sighted are also more prone to glaucoma.