Famous people with glaucoma

Celebrities Who Have Glaucoma

January is Glaucoma Awareness Month, which is important, considering that glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness across the globe. It is estimated that over 3 million people are living with glaucoma here in the United States, although many may not even realize that they have it.

Glaucoma is actually an umbrella term for a group of eye conditions that can lead to a buildup of pressure behind the eye. The pressure can then damage the optic nerve, resulting in loss of vision and even blindness.

Learning more about glaucoma symptoms is essential given the fact that there is not yet a known cure for the disease, although worsening of symptoms may be avoided with early intervention. While there are greater risks of developing glaucoma for people over the age of 60, it can affect everyone—including celebrities.

Here are a few of our favorite celebs living with glaucoma:

Bono
The U2 frontman is well-known for both his vocal abilities and his signature tinted sunglasses. While it may seem like a fashion statement, Bono actually wears the glasses because he was diagnosed with glaucoma nearly 20 years ago.

While glaucoma symptoms can be hard to detect at first, peripheral vision loss is the first sign that something might be wrong. And without a proper diagnosis and intervention, vision loss will continue to work its way from the outer part of the eye inward, giving you the impression of seeing things “through a tunnel.” Perhaps that is part of the reason why Bono has chosen to keep his glasses on while facing the bright lights and flashing bulbs of his adoring fans.

Whoopi Goldberg
Comedienne and host of “The View,” Goldberg is also living with glaucoma. Goldberg has also been an outspoken proponent of using medical marijuana as part of her treatment for angle-closure glaucoma, a common type of glaucoma in African-Americans.

Glaucoma symptoms for this type of condition include headaches, intense pain and nausea—all of which have proven to be relieved through the use of medical marijuana. Additional treatments for angle-closure glaucoma include laser surgery and medicinal eye drops to be prescribed by an eye care professional.

Roseanne Barr
Barr, famous for starring in her namesake TV show, “Roseanne,” on ABC during the 1990s, has recently revealed that she is going blind. Struggling with both macular degeneration and glaucoma, Barr has admitted that there may be a genetic link to her eye conditions, telling People magazine that her Dad had it too.

Aside from genetics, other risk factors for glaucoma include people over the age of 60, diabetics, and anyone who has a history of being extremely nearsighted. In order to provide early intervention for glaucoma treatment, it’s important to schedule regular appointments with an eye doctor who can run different tests to detect glaucoma, including a visual acuity test, a visual field test, a dilated eye exam, tonometry (to measure the pressure behind your eye), and pachymetry (to measure the thickness of your cornea).

Andrea Bocelli
Bocelli, perhaps one of the most famous opera singers in the world, was born with congenital glaucoma and went completely blind at age 12. In a strange last-ditch effort, doctors used leeches as a glaucoma treatment to try and restore his eyesight. They were unsuccessful in their attempts; however, Bocelli went on to have a successful music career without needing the use of his eyes.

Glaucoma treatments that have been proven to work more effectively include eye drops or pills, laser trabeculoplasty which helps to drain fluid from the eye, and traditional surgery which creates a new opening in the eye in order to drain fluid and relieve pressure.

Care for Your Eyes
If you think you may be at risk for glaucoma or have been struggling with vision loss, schedule an appointment with an eye doctor immediately. Glaucoma Awareness Month is a reminder that none of us are immune to vision loss and it’s imperative to remain proactive about your eye health in order to maintain your vision.

Hilary Young is a writer dedicated to helping older Americans live healthier, more fulfilling lives. She currently blogs for HuffPost50, Fifty Is The New Fifty and Medical Guardian. You can find her on Twitter as @hyoungcreative.

3 Celebrities with Glaucoma — Your Eyes is at risk

Joy AdomokhaiFollow Mar 1, 2019 · 3 min read

What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a group of diseases that damage the eye’s optic nerve and can result in vision loss and blindness. However, with early detection and treatment, you can often protect your eyes against serious vision loss.

Who is at risk for open-angle glaucoma?
Anyone can develop glaucoma. Some people, listed below, are at higher risk than others:

Africans over age 40
Everyone over age 60
People with a family history of glaucoma

What are some of the early signs of glaucoma?

most glaucoma causes no symptoms in the early stages. When the eye pressure is high as seen in angle closure glaucoma, you could experience the following symptoms Hazy or blurred vision.
The appearance of rainbow-colored circles around bright lights.
Severe eye and head pain.
Nausea or vomiting (accompanying severe eye pain)
Sudden sight loss

Celebrities with Glaucoma

Credit to https://www.everydayhealth.com

1. Bono

n October 2014, U2 singer Bono revealed the reason he wears sunglasses all the time — and it’s not because that’s just what rock stars do. On BBC’s The Graham Norton Show, Bono said he’s had glaucoma for the last 20 years and that he’s been receiving treatment.

2. Whoopi Goldberg

In April 2014, The View co-host revealed she uses marijuana to help her live comfortably with glaucoma. In a piece she penned for The Cannabist, Goldberg says that her vaporizer pen eases the pain of headaches caused by glaucoma.

In addition to headaches, other symptoms of glaucoma can include eye pain, nausea, eye redness, and blurred vision. People with glaucoma have increased eye pressure, but the Glaucoma Research Foundation states that there haven’t yet been any studies that show medical marijuana can help reduce eye pressure better than medications currently available.

3. Andrea Bocelli

Known for his impressive operatic voice, Bocelli has had congenital glaucoma from a very young age. While he was already at greater risk for vision loss because of his glaucoma, the Italian-born tenor went totally blind at 12 years old after a suffering a brain hemorrhage, the result of a soccer accident.

Congenital glaucoma (also known as childhood glaucoma) is rare; some infants are born with this form of the disease, which can be inherited, while other children develop it later on. Signs of congenital glaucoma include a cloudy-looking cornea, sensitivity to light, and excessive tearing.

Should I get tested for glaucoma?

Yes. If you are 40 or older, you need regular general eye exams, including glaucoma testing. This is important because most glaucoma causes no symptoms in the early stages. Without regular eye exams, you could lose vision to glaucoma before you know you have it.

Visit our facility today for exam test

Will you go blind?

Again, looking at real statistics, about 15% of glaucoma patients will lose the ability to read in one eye. That is a tragedy for them and hurts their ability to do some things that require vision to see in 3 dimensions, called depth perception. Having lost one eye, one is more likely to knock over the salt shaker at dinner, or to stumble on stairs and curbs. Glaucoma damage decreases the contrast sensitivity of the vision system, so what seemed like a black and white page of print before is now more grey and white. Glare is more of a problem for the glaucoma patient. And, you must develop methods to adjust to changes in lighting when moving from bright sunshine to dark interiors, or the other way around. Each of these effects is due to the loss of some ganglion cells from the retina in the eye.

Glaucoma is most likely to affect one eye much more than the other. We don’t know why this is, since both eyes have seemingly been exposed to the same environment, diet and use. My mom went to the orthopedic surgeon with pain in her right knee. She asked the doctor: “why is my knee hurting?” and he answered: “Well, Mrs. Quigley you’re 80 years old.” She said: “The other knee’s 80, too, and it doesn’t hurt!” But, it turns out to be fortunate that glaucoma affects one eye more, since damage mostly in one eye with the other eye unaffected leaves the person pretty functionally normal. Our research at the Glaucoma Center of Excellence has been instrumental in showing how glaucoma affects persons’ lives in the real world. Those with one eye that is largely intact can do most daily activities as well as persons with two good eyes. While they must maintain a higher level of alertness, driving and walking are largely done just as well and safely by early and moderate glaucoma patients as their equal aged brothers and sisters with two good eyes.

The areas of vision affected by glaucoma are fortunately not in the center part of our world where we read and watch television and use computers. The zones where the early dying nerve cells see the environment are in the mid-peripheral area, not the center and not at the extreme outside of our vision. Since the brain normally gets input from both eyes about every place in our immediate world, as long as one eye is providing the picture of a zone, the brain isn’t missing anything. This explains something that puzzles patients when they see their visual field testing from each eye. The doctor shows them black areas (areas where the eye cannot see) in one eye, yet as far as the patient is concerned there are no such black areas or missing spots in their real world when they are looking with both eyes. That’s good for continuing to function normally, but it is one reason why people don’t notice their own glaucoma damage until very late in the injury process. If the left eye still sees what the right eye is missing, damage in the right eye is not noticed. And, the damage happens so slowly that the person has time to adjust to the change without realizing it is happening. When we measured those with severe glaucoma damage in both eyes on a walking course, the person bumped into things more and walked more slowly than those of the same age. When we asked them if they had any trouble walking, they said: “No”—because walking had become more difficult very gradually and they had taken it for granted that it was due to old age.

There is very active research to determine what effects glaucoma has on important activities of daily living. We often hear from patients that they are having more difficulty with reading, for example. When we measure their acuity on the letter chart on the wall, they have normal 20/20 vision. Perhaps the subtle loss of nerve cells near the central vision, or other effects of glaucoma, do actually impair reading. We have determined that glaucoma patients can start reading at a normal pace, but slow significantly within 15-20 minutes. Glaucoma patients also give up driving earlier than persons of the same age without vision problems. Driving a car is a vital personal activity that determines in many ways the ability to live independently in our society. We need to determine which patients should, in fact, stop driving, and which ones can continue to do so safely. If you are considering whether you are safe in continuing to drive and you have glaucoma damage to vision, consider having a formal driving test through a low vision service.

While it is true that most glaucoma patients don’t get to a stage of severe vision loss, there is a slow worsening of vision function in some glaucoma patients with time, even when appropriate treatment is given. This worsening is so minor in the majority that most will not be impaired in their lifetime. But, a minority of those with glaucoma progressively worsens at a rate much greater than the rest. For the slow progressors, standard treatment is perfectly sufficient, while for the rarer ones with more aggressive disease, treatment must also be aggressive. As we deal with the examining techniques and treatments for glaucoma in the next sections, it will become clearer that “one size doesn’t fit all” for glaucoma treatment. Some need only regular examinations and don’t even need pressure lowering therapy, while others must undergo surgery to save vision. But, whichever group one falls into, vision should be able to be saved with a good program jointly agreed to by doctor and patient.

Everyone is at risk for glaucoma, and while Bono has been getting much of the attention lately because of his explanation for never going out without sunglasses, even wearing them indoors, glaucoma is a serious, and often misunderstood, disease affecting over 2.2 million Americans. Fortunately, our ophthalmologists here at Scottsdale Eye Physicians & Surgeons have over 40 years of experience with glaucoma treatments, including glaucoma laser surgery.

Glaucoma Risk Factors, Symptoms and Types

Glaucoma works by damaging your eye’s optic nerve, which over time can cause blindness. Pressure builds up within the eye, placing stress on the optic nerve, which transmits images to the brain. That pressure can cause so much damage that the optic nerve cannot send images to the brain.

Those most at risk for the most common form of glaucoma are over 40, African American, and with a family history of the disease. If you have diabetes, poor vision, or are taking steroid medications, you could also be at risk.

When it comes to the more common open-angle glaucoma symptoms, unfortunately some of the first signs of the disease are loss of peripheral vision or a narrowing vision. Symptoms of a less common form, called angle-closure glaucoma, can be redness in the eye, nausea or vomiting, pain in the eyes, or seeing halos around lights. Your best defense against glaucoma is to catch it early, and in most instances that is only accomplished with regular eye exams.

With a thorough eye exam here at Scottsdale Eye Physicians & Surgeons, our ophthalmologists can reveal high eye pressure, thinness of the cornea, and abnormal optic nerve anatomy. Caught in the early stages, glaucoma can be delayed from progressing.

Glaucoma Treatment

Dennis L. Kilpatrick, MD and William R. Kilpatrick, MD, have over 40 years of experience with glaucoma and the available treatments for this disease, including laser surgery. When detected early by an eye exam, glaucoma can be treated initially with eye drops to reduce the formation of fluid in the eye. If the build up of fluids within the eye can be reduced, the pressure on the eye that causes optic nerve damage can be reduced as well.

In more advanced cases, laser surgery is a treatment option that is available here at Scottsdale Eye Physicians & Surgeons. With laser surgery, our ophthalmologists can increase the outflow of fluid from the eye to release pressure on the optic nerve.

While glaucoma cannot be prevented, it can be managed with proper and early treatment. With eye drops and laser surgery, eye pressure can be lowered and loss of vision can be prevented. We can’t stress how important eye exams are for an early diagnosis of diseases like glaucoma. Make your appointment today.

Authors

With all the recent news about Rosanne Barr’s vision loss due to age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and glaucoma, I thought it would be interesting to see other famous people with vision loss who didn’t let it stop their impact on the world around them. Today’s post will focus on writers, politicians, business and military leaders, scientists. Thursday we will explore artists, actors and musicians.

Harper Lee (1926-) – Best known for her 1960 Pulitzer Prize winning book To Kill a Mockingbird, she has been diagnosed with AMD. Her second novel, Go Set a Watchman, which was actually written before To Kill a Mockingbird, will be published this July.

John Milton (1608-1674) – English poet who wrote the poem Paradise Lost, among others, and became blind at the age of 43.

Alice Walker (1944-) – American author and activist who wrote The Color Purple which won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award in 1983. She was blinded in one eye as a child when shot with a BB gun.

Joseph Pulitzer (1847-1911) – American newspaper publisher who established the prestigious journalism award, the Pulitzer Prize. He became blind at the age of 42 due to a retinal detachment.

James Thurber (1894-1961) – American humorist who switched his attention from sports to writing when his brother shot him in the eye with an arrow while recreating the legend of William Tell shooting the apple off his son’s head.

James Joyce (1882-1941) – Irish novelist and poet who had numerous eye surgeries for various conditions starting with iritis.

Stephen King (1947-) – American author of contemporary horror, supernatural fiction, suspense, science fiction, and fantasy. He has been diagnosed with AMD.

Leaders

Horatio Nelson (1758-1805) – British naval admiral lost an eye as a young seaman. He was said to have used this to his advantage by raising his telescope to his blind and then claim not to see the flags of surrender being raised by enemy ships.

Thomas Gore (1870-1949) – Blinded as a child, he became the first senator from Oklahoma and the first blind member of the US Senate.

Steve Wynn (1942-) – A well-known business leader having helped build up Las Vegas, and the owner of The Wynn and The Encore resorts, he was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa in 1971 and declared legally blind in 2010.

David Alexander Paterson (1954-) – He was the first African American Governor of New York and the second legally blind governor of any state, after Bob Riley of Arkansas. Paterson became blind at the age of three months when an ear infection spread to his optic nerve.

Willie Brown (1934-) – He spent over 30 years in the California State Assembly and served as the first African American Mayor of San Francisco for eight years. He has retinitis pigmentosa.

Hellen Keller (1880-1968) – She was an American activist, lecturer and author. She was the first deaf/blind person to graduate from college. At the age of 19 months she came down with infection that left her deaf and blind. She inspired the Lions Clubs International to become “knight of the blind,” leading them to focus their community service efforts toward vision-related causes.

Science & Medicine

Dr. Jacob Bolotin (1888-1961) – Was the first congenitally blind person to receive a medical license. This Chicago physician’s specialties were diseases of the heart and lungs.

John Glenn (1921-) – He was the first man to orbit the earth in 1963 on the Friendship 7 mission. He suffers from glaucoma.

Joseph Plateau (1801-1883) – Belgian physicist who invented an early stroboscopic device, the phenakistiscope, in 1836 that allowed still images to create an animated effect. It eventually led to the development of cinema. He performed an experiment in which he gazed directly into the sun for 25 seconds, leading to his eventual blindness.

Join us next Tuesday for part two.

4/28/15

Susan DeRemer, CFRE
Vice President of Development
Discovery Eye Foundation

Famous People with Vision Loss – Part I Tagged on: business leaders military leaders politicians scientists writers

Glaucoma Stock Photos and Images

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  • GLAUCOMA TREATMENT
  • Iridocorneal endothelial syndrome (ICE) is a rare eye condition that leads to glaucoma.
  • Retina of eye with glaucoma.
  • Closeup of a face of a woman with a contact lense on her finger
  • vector medical illustration of the causes of glaucoma
  • Vector illustration of a Background for World Glaucoma Day- 12 March
  • Paper with words glaucoma, glasses and container for lenses. Eye disorders. Selective focus.
  • Diagram showing development of glaucoma illustration
  • Aqueous humour fluid exits and flow to canal of schlemm human eyes. To see difficult the picture because the fluid exits can not flow through, conseq
  • Checking eyesight in a clinic. Ophthalmology. Medicine and health concept.
  • Older male with bloodshot eye
  • An old domestic cat suffering from feline glaucoma
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  • Captive fennec fox (Fennecus zerda / Vulpes zerda) suffering from glaucoma, eye disease common with fennecs in zoos
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  • Lecanora glaucoma (Lecanora glaucoma, Glaucomaria rupicola, Lecanora rimosa, Lecanora rimosa, Lecanora rugosa, Lecanora sordida, Lecanora stenhammarii, Parmelia sordida), crustose lichen on coastal rocks, Germany
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  • A mobile NHS glaucoma unit parked and ready to use.
  • Retina of eye with glaucoma.
  • Glaucoma. Torn pieces of paper with the words Glaucoma. Concept image. Black and White. Close up.
  • GLAUCOMA word written on wood block. GLAUCOMA text on wooden table for your desing, concept.
  • Vector illustration of a Background for World Glaucoma Day- 12 March
  • Glaucoma text, grass pot, coffee cup, syringe, and face green mask. Healtcare/Medical and Business concept
  • Development of Glaucoma in human eyes illustration
  • Closeup of a face of a woman with a contact lense on her finger
  • Latanoprost glaucoma drug molecule. Blue skeletal formula on white background.
  • elderly female patient stares at doctors or GP eye examination light during appointment at GP surgery or community visit
  • Optometry
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  • Captive fennec fox (Fennecus zerda / Vulpes zerda) suffering from glaucoma, eye disease common with fennecs in zoos
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  • Lecanora glaucoma (Lecanora glaucoma, Glaucomaria rupicola, Lecanora rimosa, Lecanora rimosa, Lecanora rugosa, Lecanora sordida, Lecanora stenhammarii, Parmelia sordida), crustose lichen on coastal rocks, Germany
  • Child’s optometry concept – little girl checks eyesight in eye ophthalmological clinic
  • Old blind Miniature Pinscher lying on a blanket in the sun
  • GLAUCOMA TREATMENT
  • glasses and corrective lenses ophthalmologist in the set. Ophthalmologist. medical, health, ophthalmology concept
  • Pencil with eraser
  • Eye shield covering senior woman after cataract surgery.
  • The Optical Instruments for examines the sight. optometrist examining female patient in ophthalmology clinic
  • Vector illustration of a Background for World Glaucoma Day- 12 March
  • eye anatomy illustration on white background
  • Man is holding form Glaucoma and pen.
  • Closeup of a face of a woman with a contact lense on her finger
  • Latanoprost glaucoma drug molecule. White skeletal formula on dark teal gradient background with hexagonal pattern.
  • Glaucoma is an Ocular Eye Disorder of the Optic Nerve
  • At right, Vision of a person affected by glaucoma.
  • China,Hong Kong,glaucoma Ferry and skyline,
  • Captive fennec fox (Fennecus zerda / Vulpes zerda) suffering from glaucoma, eye disease common with fennecs in zoos
  • Woman with contact lense
  • Medical Board Glaucoma
  • Blind,Partially Sighted,Man,Walking,Street,White Stick
  • Child’s healthcare – little girl in ophthalmological clinic checks eyesight
  • Blind old Miniature Pinscher lying on the couch
  • Glaucoma, drawing
  • glasses and corrective lenses ophthalmologist in the set. Ophthalmologist. medical, health, ophthalmology concept
  • Stages of glaucoma, a common eye disease
  • Young Woman With Eye Glasses Trying To Read Book
  • Medical illustration of the effects of cataract.
  • Vector illustration of a Background for World Glaucoma Day- 12 March
  • Diagnosis glaucome in a medical form on the doctor desk.
  • Pair of gold rimmed glasses with blue eyes – creative shop sign design hanging over an opticians shop in a street in Bordeaux
  • Ishemic optic neuropathy medical 3d vector illustration on white background
  • Latanaprost glaucoma drug molecule Stylized skeletal formula (chemical structure) Atoms are shown as color-coded circles:
  • Glaucoma is an Ocular Eye Disorder of the Optic Nerve
  • Consultation specialized in corneal pathology, Measurement of the intraocular pressure of a patient’s eye using a tonometer, Screening for glaucoma, B
  • China, Hong Kong, glaucoma Ferry and skyline,
  • Captive fennec fox (Fennecus zerda / Vulpes zerda) suffering from glaucoma, eye disease common with fennecs in zoos
  • Woman with contact lense
  • eye surgery or retina scfan concept
  • Young optician helping elderly male customer to choose eyeglasses in optical store
  • Child’s optometry – little girl checks eyesight in eye ophthalmological clinic – close up
  • Old blind Miniature Pincher lying on the sofa
  • Glaucoma, drawing
  • East German (DDR) postage stamp (1978): Friedrich Wilhelm Ernst Albrecht von Gräfe/Graefe (1828 – 1870) Prussian pioneer of ophthalmology.
  • Human Eye Anatomy Isolated
  • Young Woman With Eye Glasses Trying To Read Book
  • Medical illustration of the effects of cataract.
  • Vector illustration of a Background for World Glaucoma Day- 12 March
  • Diagnosis glaucome in a medical form on the doctor desk.
  • Pair of gold rimmed glasses with blue eyes – creative shop sign design hanging over an opticians shop in a street in Bordeaux
  • Optic ischemic neuropathy medical vector illustration
  • Latanoprost glaucoma drug molecule. Stylized skeletal formula (chemical structure). Atoms are shown as color-coded circles with thick black outlines and bonds: hydrogen (hidden), carbon (grey), oxygen (red).
  • Glaucoma is an Ocular Eye Disorder of the Optic Nerve
  • Consultation specialized in corneal pathology, Measurement of the intraocular pressure of a patient’s eye using a tonometer, Screening for glaucoma, B
  • China, Hong Kong, glaucoma Ferry and skyline with daybreak,
  • Captive fennec fox (Fennecus zerda / Vulpes zerda) suffering from glaucoma, eye disease common with fennecs in zoos
  • Woman with contact lense
  • eye surgery or retina scfan concept
  • Ophthalmologist examining young man with optometric machine in optics store
  • Little girl in ophthalmological clinic checks eyesight
  • Old blind Miniature Pincher lying on the sofa
  • GLAUCOMA, DRAWING
  • Close up of an elderly woman with glaucoma.
  • Human Eye Anatomy Isolated
  • Dry Eyes Concept With Eye Drops On Wooden Desk
  • Eye anatomy and skeleton isolated on white. 3D render

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What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is the name given to a group of eye diseases where vision is lost due to damage to the optic nerve. Approximately 300,000 Australians have glaucoma. Generally there are no symptoms or warning signs in the early stages of this eye condition. The loss of sight is usually gradual and a considerable amount of peripheral (side) vision may be lost before there is an awareness of any problem.

The primary problem in glaucoma is damage to the optic nerve. Intraocular pressure (IOP) is the fluid pressure inside the eye. The level of eye pressure at which there is progressive damage to an optic nerve varies between people: some individuals with high eye pressures do not develop nerve damage, while others with normal eye pressure develop progressive nerve damage.

The best way to protect your sight from glaucoma is to have your eyes tested.

Glaucoma cannot be self-detected, and many people affected by glaucoma may not be aware of any vision loss. It is important to remember that while it is more common as we get older, glaucoma can occur at any age. Unfortunately there is currently no cure for glaucoma and vision cannot be regained, although early detection and adherence to treatment can halt or significantly slow progression.

  • 2 in 100 Australians will develop Glaucoma in their lifetime
  • 1 in 8 Australians aged over 80 years will develop glaucoma
  • First degree relatives of people with glaucoma have an up to 10-fold increased risk of developing the disease
  • Currently, about 50% of people with glaucoma remain undetected.

Understanding Glaucoma

The eye works very much like an old-style camera. In the camera, the light comes in through the shutter, is focused by the lens, falls onto the film and then we take it to be processed.

In the eye, light comes in through the cornea and pupil. It is focused by the lens, falling onto the film in the eye (the retina) and then goes, via the optic nerve (the nerve of sight), to the brain (the processor) for developing. In people with glaucoma there is damage to the optic nerve, therefore not all the image captured by the eye will reach the brain, which can result in progressive vision loss.

Although damage to the optic nerve can be caused by injury or by poor blood flow, the most common cause of optic nerve damage is increased pressure within the eye (referred to as intraocular pressure or IOP). IOP is generally controlled by the circulation of aqueous, a fluid which bathes and nourishes the eye, keeping it firm and maintaining optimal eye pressure.

Aqueous flows from the ciliary body, through the anterior chamber and drains out of the eye via the trabecular meshwork. If this draining process becomes blocked, the aqueous fluid level within the eye can build-up, resulting in increased eye pressure. This increased eye pressure can cause ongoing damage to the optic nerve leading to vision loss and blindness seen in glaucoma.

Glaucoma treatments (eye drops, laser surgery, and conventional surgery) aim to reduce pressure in the eye, .

Note that eye pressure varies from person to person; what is high pressure for one person may not be for another. Many people may have normal pressure inside the eye and still have glaucoma.

The above information is a general overview of glaucoma – different types of glaucoma can have more specific causes.

Effects of Glaucoma

While there are different types of glaucoma, Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma (POAG) is the most common, accounting for 90% of glaucoma cases in Australia. POAG generally has no warning signs in the early stages of development. Damage progresses slowly and destroys vision gradually, starting with peripheral vision. This early vision loss often goes undetected since the other eye can initially cover for the loss, and the effects of glaucoma may only be noticed when a significant amount of nerve fibres have been destroyed.

Damage caused is irreversible and will progress unless treated. Treatment cannot restore lost vision but may halt or slow down the damage process. Early detection of glaucoma means that treatment can commence before a significant loss of vision occurs.

Images courtesy of Dr. Anne Hoste

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