Over 300,000 Australians are estimated to have glaucoma, which can often go unnoticed while it slowly causes blindness to our peripheral vision. The incidence of glaucoma in the general population over 40 is about 2% (1 in 50) but this risk increases to about 20% (1 in 5) if an immediate family member has the disease. While it is more common as people age, it can occur at any age. As our population becomes older, the proportion of patients with this disease is increasing. Vision Excellence is a proud friend and supporter of Glaucoma Australia and we continue to test for this ‘thief in the night’ and raise awareness in the Hills District of this serious disease and the fact that most of the blindness it causes can be avoided by early detection and timely treatment.
In glaucoma, the optic nerve at the back of the eye is slowly destroyed. This may be due to an increased pressure inside the eye or caused by poor blood supply to the optic nerve at the back of the eye, a weakness in the structure of the nerve, or a problem in the health of the nerve fibres themselves. A comprehensive test is more than just an eye pressure check. Although relatively rare it is possible to have normal eye pressures and still get the disease, a condition known as “normal-pressure” or “low-tension’ glaucoma.
At Vision Excellence in the Hills District, we will precisely examine your optic nerve and your eye pressure and other specific aspects of the retina of your eyes to detect even the earliest sign of glaucoma so that action can be taken to eliminate any risk of blindness. Whether or not a parent or a sibling has it, all adults should have an eye test at least every two years. Our optometrist will advise you if you are at higher risk.