Glaucoma can severely impact a person’s vision, but the best outcomes are achieved by detecting the condition early. 

Glaucoma is commonly referred to as the ‘sneak thief of sight’ as it’s rare to have symptoms in the early stages. It’s estimated around 50 per cent of people with glaucoma don’t know they have it, which is why regular eye examinations are so important.

There are several different types of glaucoma. Most people think of glaucoma as having high pressure in the eye, but only half of people with glaucoma experience this. Treatment is geared toward reducing the pressure (whatever level it is) to alleviate any damage to the optic nerve at the back of the eye. Most patients will receive either a laser procedure or long-term eyedrops.

If left for too long glaucoma can severely damage your optic nerve and lead to permanent peripheral and central vision reductions, which can adversely affect everyday tasks like driving and reading. Anyone can get glaucoma but those most at-risk include over 40s or people with a family history.

The good news is most people with glaucoma can be treated successfully with early detection. A glaucoma assessment usually forms part of a standard eye test and involves optic nerve inspection, pressure testing and further tests if there are suspicious results. These may include graphical modelling of the optic nerve and testing of the patient’s peripheral vision.

Having regular eye examinations with your optometrist or ophthalmologist are essential to early detection. So, get your eyes tested—it could save your sight!


Andrew Christiansen is the owner and optometrist at Optical Superstore Bundaberg.