It is the slient thief of sight. Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness. Approximately 25 of people over the age of 40 have glaucoma and the risk increase with age.

Glaucoma is an eye disorder in which the internal pressure in your eye increases enough to damage the nerve fibres in your optic nerve and cause vision loss. The increase of pressure happens when the passages that normally allow fluid in your eyes to drain become clogged and blocked.

The most common type of glaucoma develops gradually and painlessly without symptoms in the early stages. Severe loss of peripheral vision may occur before the sufferer realises there is a problem.

A rarer type of glaucoma occurs more rapidly and its symptoms may include blurred vision, loss of side vision, seeing coloured rings around lights and pain or redness in the eyes.

Glaucoma most often occurs in people over the age of 40. People with a family history of glaucoma and those very near sighted or diabetic are at higher risk of developing the disease.

Early detection is important. Glaucoma cannot be prevented, but if diagnosed and treated early, it can be controlled and treated better. Vision lost to glaucoma caonnot be restored.