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What is glaucoma and ocular hypertension (OHT)?
The optic nerve connects the eye to the brain. Glaucoma is damage to the optic nerve, related to high pressure in the eye. OHT is when the pressure is high but the optic nerve is not damaged, so treatment is generally not required. Be mindful that “normal” pressure can sometimes still damage the eyes, so an individual may still have glaucoma.

Diagram of the eye
Diagram of the eye

How would someone know if they have glaucoma?
There are different types of glaucoma. Glaucoma can occasionally result in discomfort or pain in the eyes, but is usually silent and painless. Therefore, regular eye tests are crucial to detect glaucoma at an early stage.

How does glaucoma affect the vision?
Glaucoma progresses at different speeds in each case, and causes loss of peripheral vision resulting in tunnel-vision.

What is the treatment for glaucoma?
Whilst there is no cure for glaucoma, there are several eye-drops that can be used to lower the eye pressure, and stop glaucoma from progressing and affecting an individual’s lifestyle. In certain cases, laser treatment may be more appropriate.

Patient having their eye pressure checked
Patient having their eye pressure checked

Are you allowed to drive with glaucoma?
People with early stage or controlled glaucoma are allowed to drive. People with advanced glaucoma are not allowed to drive. It is best to consult your eyecare practitioner for advice on glaucoma and driving.

Last words
A regular eye test will assess for glaucoma. Those who have an immediate family member with glaucoma should have their eyes tested more frequently as they are at greater risk of developing glaucoma.

Useful link: visit the International Glaucoma Association for more information.

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