Symptoms of glaucoma include insidious loss of vision via progressive reduction of the visual field, which may eventually lead to blindness. Glaucoma usually occurs in adults and older people.
Glaucoma is related to an increase in intraocular pressure due to the presence of an obstacle to the evacuation of aqueous humour. The causes are not well known (heredity is thought to be one of them). The optic nerve is compressed at the back of the eye, causing the fibres to be destroyed. The visual field deteriorates gradually, and the damage is irreversible (cells are destroyed and a great deal of damage is done before the person is bothered by the symptoms).
2% (undiagnosed in 50% of cases) of people are affected by glaucoma.
Since the causes are not well known, doctors concentrate on countering the effects. Several treatments can be combined, depending on the patient's reaction: drugs (hypotensive eye drops), surgery and laser (in experimentation). The surgical procedure aims to reduce the internal pressure of the eye, by creating a shunt to allow the aqueous humour to escape. There is no cure for glaucoma and it must be monitored for life.
On this page, we describe an eye disease that can only be diagnosed by an eye doctor. We therefore advise you to have your eyesight checked regularly by an ophthalmologist.