My sight is fine, why test for glaucoma?

The only way to know if your eyes are healthy and your vision is accurate is to have your eyes checked by an optometrist (optician).  

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Support groups

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Sightline helpline

01233 64 81 70

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International Glaucoma Association

The IGA is the charity for people with glaucoma. We provide information, literature, advice and fund essential research to prevent unnecessary loss of sight through early detection, diagnosis and treatment. 

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What is glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a term that describes a group of eye conditions that affect vision. The main nerve in the eye (the optic nerve) becomes damaged usually as a result of increased pressure in the eye. This can lead to misty and patchy vision which worsens if left untreated. 

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 Film of patient talking about diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma

 Eye health checks

Glaucoma is usually painless and does not have symptoms until it is quite advanced. There are three quick and painless tests that are used to check for glaucoma.

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 Eye drops and aids

Most people with glaucoma are treated with eye drops which help to lower the pressure in your eye, and reduce loss of vision. There are a number of eye drops and various aids that help people to take eye drops correctly.

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Laser and surgery

Lasers have been used in the treatment of glaucoma for many years. If eye drops or laser therapy has not succeeded in lowering the eye pressure, the doctor may recommend an operation to control the pressure.  

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Most people with glaucoma will be able to drive safely for many years. But, if you have visual field loss from glaucoma in both eyes, you will need to report your condition to the DVLA who may require you to have further tests.

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The IGA provides free membership to all eye care professionals. Members benefit from free copies of all patient leaflets, electronic copies of the quarterly magazine IGA News, invitations to ophthalmology and glaucoma events. Professionals can also apply for joint research grants. 

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 Sight saving research

The IGA is an important funder of research, and has spent approximately £2.5 million in helping professionals pursue research into the diagnosis, treatment and management of glaucoma. This includes the funded position of the IGA Chair of Ophthalmololgy for Glaucoma and Allied Studies, which currently resides with Professor David Garway-Heath. 

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