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Glaucoma is a potentially blinding eye condition affecting millions of people around the world. You or someone you know might have just been diagnosed with glaucoma and are not sure what it means. This information should help.

First, you must know it is a leading cause of irreversible blindness worldwide. It can affect anyone of any age group. Young people and even babies can have glaucoma. People who have had trauma to their eyes or have used medications with steroids in them are also at risk of developing glaucoma. It is also important to know that it sometimes runs in families. Therefore, it is advisable to know your family’s eye health history. If you have a family member with glaucoma, you should have a full glaucoma screening test every year, as early detection can help avoid substantial vision loss.

Glaucoma typically has no symptoms but occasionally persons can experience some symptoms usually at its advanced stage. Symptoms include blurred vision, eye pain, headaches, haloes around light bulbs, vision loss, red eyes, and reduced ability to see in low-light situations. Glaucoma can be due to the inability of the eyes’ angle drainage system to properly drain out the fluid in the eye (aqueous humour) either because it is not wide enough or it is blocked. It can also be due to the overproduction of fluid in the eye or reduced blood flow to the optic nerve.

Here are the two common categories of glaucoma:


This is the most common form of glaucoma in persons of African ancestry. It is usually due to overproduction of aqueous in the eye such that though the angle is open, there is still a build-up of fluid in the eye leading to raised eye pressure.


This is not as common or slow as open-angle glaucoma. It is more common in persons of Asian ancestry.  It progresses quickly due to the blockage of the drainage angle in the eye, leading to a rapid increase in pressure. It is excruciating because of the high-pressure levels in the eye and is treated with immediate medical attention to relieve pain and prevent vision loss.


It is important to know that there is currently no cure for glaucoma. All treatment modalities are aimed at stopping and preventing further vision challenges. Eye drops and tablets are prescribed to reduce eye pressure either by reducing production of the fluid in the eye, or increasing outflow. Some medications also target increasing blood flow to the optic nerve. Surgery, or laser surgery, might also be recommended to improve fluid drainage from your eye and reduce the pressure for a considerably longer time.

If you or anyone you know has glaucoma and are unsure what to do next, please contact us; we will gladly assist you.