• Glaucoma is a complicated disease in which damage to the optic nerve leads to progressive and permanent loss of vision
  • It is the second most common cause of blindness in the world and very common in South Africa
  • It is caused by an increase in the pressure within the eye.
  • This leads to damage to the optic nerve
  • There is no specific level of elevated pressure that leads to damage but each individual has a pressure above which damage will occur.
  • Risk factors include age, family history and Black-African heritage
  • Early detection and treatment can slow or even halt the progression of the disease.
  • Anyone with a family history should be screened by an eye specialist (ophthalmologist) as a routine.
  • If no family history is present, a good time to be checked is at the age of 40.