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What is Glaucoma?


Glaucoma is the name given to a group of conditions in which the optic nerve at the back of the eye suffers a characteristic form of damage. This is often associated with a raised level of intraocular pressure. The optic nerve damage causes patchy loss of vision that varies in severity from patient to patient.


I can see well so how can I have Glaucoma?


Most patients with glaucoma are not aware of problems with their vision. This is because the central vision (for reading and recognising people) is only affected when glaucoma has advanced. Even when central vision is still good, glaucoma may affect the vision needed for driving and getting about (for instance, seeing steps).


Without treatment, the loss of vision usually gets worse over the course of many months or several years and is permanent, but with early treatment, the damage to vision can be minimised.


Can Glaucoma be treated?


Glaucoma can be controlled and vision preserved if the disease is detected early. Currently all treatment startegies focus on control of the intra ocular pressure. This is achieved at first diagnosis by the use of pressure lowering eye drops, if this fails to control the presssure there are laser surgery and traditional surgical methods avaliable to achieve effective pressure control.


How can I ensure early detection of Glaucoma?


The established  methods of glaucoma detection and monitoring are measurement of intra ocular pressure, analysis of the optic nerve head and visual field analysis.


At Henry Morgan Opticians we have, for the past 10 years, been able to offer digital imaging of the optic nerve and thus offer a more sophisticated analysis of the optic nerve head.


Now patients can elect to have  an even more advanced examination with our newly introduced GDx  laser scanning polarimeter;  this will quickly,

painlessly and reliably detect Glaucoma up to 6 years earlier than the established techniques.

We particularly recommend this investigation to patients in ‘at risk’ groups.


Who is at risk of developing Glaucoma?


Generally, although not exclusivly, these are people over 40 who have a member of their immediate family (parent,child or sibling) who has been diagnosed with Glaucoma, people of African and Afro-Caribbean background, andpeople with raised intra ocular pressure.The risk of Glaucoma increases with age so a case can be made for all patients over the age of 65  to have a full Glaucoma investigation.


Further Information:



Video link:


GDx for Glaucoma diagnosis and management

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