Optometrist using tonometer to measure pressure

Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases in which the optic nerve, which connects your eye to your brain, is damaged by the pressure of the fluid inside your eye.

This may be because the pressure is higher than normal, or because the nerve is more susceptible to damage from pressure. This may affect one or both of your eyes.

There are two main types of glaucoma: chronic glaucoma, which happens slowly and acute glaucoma which happens quickly. Chronic glaucoma is much more common than acute glaucoma.

If you have any concerns about the health of your eyes, please visit your local optometrist. Optometrists are the eye specialists on the high street. An eye examination is a vital health check and should be part of everyone’s normal health care.

To find out more about glaucoma, please use the menu on the left.

The video below has no sound. Read the text beneath it or – better still – watch it while your optometrist discusses it with you.


Please us the menu on the left to find out more about glaucoma.

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  • When light hits the back of the eye, tiny cells convert the light into nervous impulses.
  • These travel across the retina, through the optic disc, to the brain.
  • Glaucoma is a group of diseases which cause these nerves to become damaged.
  • When this happens the nerves become unable to send the impulses
  • …which leads to blind spots, initially out of the corner of the eye.
  • If the condition is not treated, the blind spots get larger and can lead to blindness.
  • It is known that pressure in the eye is an important factor in this condition.
  • The production and drainage of “water” in the front of the eye affects the pressure.
  • If this gets out of balance the pressure in the eye can increase.
  • Glaucoma can be controlled by using eye drops to reduce the pressure in the eye.