Keep an eye on your health — World Glaucoma Week (8th-14th March) | Welbeing

What is glaucoma?

What causes glaucoma?

How many types of glaucoma are there?

  • Primary open-angle glaucoma: this is the most common form of glaucoma and occurs when the eye’s drainage canals become clogged up over time. Most people will have no symptoms or early warning signs
  • Acute angle-closure glaucoma: this occurs when the pressure inside an eye rises quickly. This is caused by a sudden blockage and, although uncommon, can result in permanent sight loss if untreated
  • Secondary glaucoma: this is caused by an underlying eye condition, e.g. inflammation of the eye (uveitis). Open or closed-angle in nature, there are various ways in which the eye pressure can rise
  • Childhood glaucoma (congenital glaucoma): this is a rare type of glaucoma that occurs in very young children. It’s caused by an abnormality in the eye

What puts you at risk of glaucoma?

  • Age: you are at risk of developing glaucoma after the age of 40. Furthermore, there is an increased chance of developing the condition after the age of 60
  • Ethnicity: people of African, Hispanic, Caribbean and Asian origin have a higher risk of developing the condition
  • Family history: primary open-angle glaucoma is hereditary. Family history increases the risk of glaucoma by four to nine times
  • Other medical conditions: short and long-sightedness can increase the risk of glaucoma — as well as diabetes. You are also at increased risk if you suffer from migraines, high blood pressure and poor blood circulation.

How do I prevent glaucoma?

  • Have a routine eye check (visit the NHS website to see if you are eligible for a free eye test)
  • Follow a nutritious and balanced diet
  • Stay hydrated
  • Exercising regularly as this promotes blood flow
  • Refrain from smoking
  • Regulate your caffeine intake
  • Protect your eyes from injury, trauma and the sun

Further information about glaucoma

How Welbeing can help

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Andy Baker

Andy Baker

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