Glaucoma affects around 3% of the Australian population and is one of the leading causes of blindness. Detection of this disease is vital and if undetected can damage the optic nerve and lead to vision loss or even blindness. Many patients are unaware they have the disease; therefore early detection is important as there is no cure for the disease, but treatment can prevent blindness. New technologies like OCT scans and retinal photography allow detection before symptoms occur.
Glaucoma can only be detected through a comprehensive eye exam.
If you are in a risk group, you should have your eyes checked for glaucoma in your early 30’s. Everyone should have their eyes checked by the age of 40 and every 2 years thereafter.
Patients with increased risk includes:
- A family history of glaucoma
- diabetes or high blood pressure
- sufferers of migraines, Raynaud’s disease or heart attacks/strokes
- short sighted people
- previous eye injuries
- users of steroids (eg for asthma, eczema, joint disease, eye disease and others)
If after your comprehensive eye examination and our optometrist suspects the onset of glaucoma, you’ll be referred to a specialist.