Glaucoma is a common chronic, progressive eye disease of the optic nerve which connects to the brain. This condition is caused by damage to the optic nerve which leads to visual field loss. A major risk factor is increased intraocular pressure (IOP). An abnormality in the eye’s drainage system leads to a build up of aqueuos (between the cornea and crystalline lens) and excessive pressure which adversely affects the optic nerve resulting in loss of vision. An elevated IOP causes irreversible damage to the optic nerve and the retinal fibres if left untreated, this results in a progressive, permanent loss of vision.
However, early detection and treatment (usually daily eye drops) can slow, or even stop the progression of the disease. Two other equally important factors are the appearance of the optic disc (deep cupping and pallor are suggestive of glaucoma), and visual field loss. OCT is now an essential tool in glaucoma diagnosis with its ability to quantify retinal thinning, a crucial sign of glaucoma.
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