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Start > Nurses > Writing > Articles > Glaucoma Part 2 (Ms Catia Sicari) Reskeon Newsletter, Australia Sept 2003

The symptoms of Glaucoma

While there are many types of glaucoma, the most common type, chronic/primary open-angle glaucoma is often referred to as the 'Sneak thief of sight'. It develops slowly over many years without any obvious symptoms or signs until the side vision starts to disappear. A damage that is IRREVERSIBLE. The person who has glaucoma will generally be completely unaware of what is happening because the effect of this gradual reduction in the vision is impossible to self-detect and possibly one eye is affected in the first instance. If this is the case, the good eye will cover up for the affected eye until a majority of nerve fibres have been damaged, and a large part of vision has been destroyed.

Glaucoma cannot be cured or prevented but it can be effectively managed and controlled. The golden rule to minimise sight disability from glaucoma is early detection and proper treatment. Treatment cannot recover what has been lost, but it can arrest, or at the very least, slow down the damaging process if it is detected early. Hence the importance of glaucoma awareness and the need to detect the problem as early as possible, to be able to start treatment (usually daily eye drops) with as little damage to the vision as possible. In some glaucoma cases treatment many include laser and/or surgery.

Teacher: Michael
Many articles taken from 'A word with the doctor', by Dr. John Windsor.


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