World Glaucoma Week 2019 – What Is Glaucoma?

By support on March 7, 2019

Glaucoma is an eye disease which causes progressive damage of the optic nerve at the point where it leaves the eye to carry visual information to the brain.


If left untreated, most types of glaucoma progress (without warning nor obvious symptoms to the patient) towards gradually worsening visual damage and may lead to blindness. Once incurred, visual damage is mostly irreversible, and this has led to glaucoma being described as the “silent blinding disease” or the “sneak thief of sight”.


Glaucoma is the second most common cause of blindness worldwide. It is estimated that 4.5 million persons globally are blind due to glaucoma1 and that this number will rise to 11.2 million by 2020. It is noteworthy that due to the silent progression of the disease – at least in its early stages – up to 50% of affected people are not even aware of having glaucoma.


There is no cure for glaucoma as yet, and vision loss is irreversible. However medication or surgery (traditional or laser) can halt or slow-down any further vision loss. Therefore early detection is essential to limiting visual impairment and preventing the progression towards severe vision loss or blindness. Your eye-care professional can detect glaucoma in its early stages and advise you on the best course of action. The first place to start is with regular eye exams.

Our Hexham practice is equipped with both an OCT scanner and an OPTOMAP camera. Hospital grade and the only one in Northumberland!  Early detection of eye conditions has never been easier. Book an appointment today.