Four things you didn’t know about Glaucoma

This week is World Glaucoma Week and in spite of the substantial research that has been put into the condition, there are still a number of misconceptions around it. Specsavers Peckham store director, Radhika Radia outlines a few things you may not have known about glaucoma.

1. Only Moderate/Advanced Glaucoma displays symptoms

‘There are a number of people who believe they have 20/20 vision and therefore think they couldn’t possibly have glaucoma. However, often with this condition, it doesn’t actually show any real symptoms until it has reached either a moderate or advanced stage so people should be under no illusion that perceived vision quality is a good indicator.’

2. Glaucoma is not always hereditary

‘Family history can certainly play a part in the development of the condition and people who do have relatives with glaucoma should definitely err on the side of caution and get checked. The notion, however, that people with no family history of the condition are always going to be glaucoma-free is false.

There are a number of risk factors, such as elevated intraocular pressure, age and high blood pressure which can all increase the risk of glaucoma.’

3. Babies can have glaucoma

‘A common misconception is that this is a condition that can only affect the elderly but this is not true at all. There have been a number of cases of babies having congenital glaucoma so it really can affect people of all ages.’

4. People with normal IOP levels can also develop glaucoma

‘I think a lot of the time, people reduced glaucoma to being something that is strictly related to elevated IOP levels but this isn’t necessarily true. There are several different types of glaucoma and it’s characterised more by damage to the optic nerve and in different patients, levels of IOP that would generally be considered to be ‘normal’ can cause just as much damage and lead to glaucoma.’

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