Glaucoma - Common questions

I have glaucoma. Are my relatives at risk?

The most common types of glaucoma tend to run in families. If you have parents, brothers, sisters or children over 40, they should be assessed for glaucoma.

I don’t feel I have any visual problems but my doctor tells me I have glaucoma. Why should I undergo this treatment?
If glaucoma can be detected early and appropriate treatment administered, loss of vision is usually prevented. At this early stage the disease is symptom free. The earlier glaucoma is detected and treated, the more vision can be preserved.

Is there anything I can do in my life to treat or prevent glaucoma?

Smoking and excessive alcohol drinking are harmful to the optic nerve and should be avoided.
The most important ways in which you can influence the progression of glaucoma is by:
1.    Attending all follow up appointments,
2.    Using your eye drops as directed, and
3.    Encouraging your close relatives to be screened for glaucoma.

I get pain around, or in my eyes. Could this be due to eye pressure?

High eye pressure can occasionally cause pain around the eyes and head. However, mostly this is due to an unstable tear film or dry eye.

Is eye pressure related to blood pressure?

The pressure in your eye is generally not related to your blood pressure.

What are the different types of glaucoma?

There are several types of glaucoma, such as:
1.    Primary open angle glaucoma.  Microscopic obstructions to the drainage pathways in the eye.
2.    Primary angle closure glaucoma. The drainage area of the eye is obstructed by the  peripheral iris.
3.    Pseudo-exfoliation glaucoma. Small particles of dandruff-like material clog up the drainage pathways of the eye.
4.    Normal tension glaucoma. Some individuals are susceptible to glaucoma with normal or even low eye pressure.