Glaucoma is an eye disease in which the optic nerve is permanently and irreversibly damaged (structural damage). The optic nerve is the part of the eye that conveys to the brain all of the visual information captured by the eye. Several risk factors can predispose the optic nerve to glaucomatous damage. These include various eye conditions, family history of glaucoma (genetic predisposition), poor blood supply to the nerve and, particularly, high intraocular pressure. As the consequent damage appears slowly and progressively, the disease is asymptomatic most of the time; what is observed is a progressive loss of visual field (functional damage). Ultimately, the disease can lead to complete blindness if not diagnosed and treated. Treatment can be either medical (drops, laser) or surgical depending on the type of glaucoma. The different types are discussed under “Eye diseases”.
Visual field test
The visual field test allows detecting and monitoring the progression of glaucoma.
Diagnostic imaging tests are used to assess the structure of the optic nerve and determine where the disease lies.
Laser is commonly used to treat glaucoma, both the open- and the closed-angle type.
Surgery is used when medical treatment, whether drops or laser, fails. Various surgical procedures can be considered according to the type of glaucoma.
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