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GLAUCOMA

A group of eye diseases in which increased intraocular pressure (raised pressure in the eye) develops as a result of blockage of the drainage system. More likely in people with family history of glaucoma, myopia, over 40 years of age with raised blood pressure, diabetes, almond shaped eyes eg of Chinese or Japanese origin, or of Afro-Caribbean origin.

Chronic (open-angle) The most common type of glaucoma, and often bilateral. Pressure in the eye increases slowly, generally with no pain or discomfort. Without treatment the result is gradual, irrecoverable loss of peripheral vision.

Patients prescribed eye drops to control intraocular pressure must use them as directed, to avoid visual loss. They may need support to do this.

Acute (closed-angle) Occurs when the pressure in the eye rises suddenly. Symptoms may include acute, intense periocular pain with nausea, vomiting, acute loss or reduction of vision, and at times a red eye. Refer immediately.

Secondary Occurs when the aqueous outflow becomes blocked (and pressure increases) as a result of another eye condition.

Congenital Often associated with underdevelopment of the chamber of the eye.

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