Ophthalmos Research and Educational Institute


What is glaucoma – Causes

Glaucoma is a term used to describe a group of diseases characterised by optic nerve fibre damage. The optic nerve is made up of nerve fibres which transport the picture we see to the brain. It is easier to imagine this by likening the optic nerve to a “wire” which transports information. When a person suffers from this condition the “wire” transports less and less information, due to the deterioration of the optic nerve, resulting in the limitation of the visual field. In cases where medical advice is not sought from a specialist ophthalmic surgeon, it is likely that the person may have total loss of sight.

The causes of glaucoma are not known. In most types of glaucoma the main suspect cause is constant high intraocular pressure over a long period of time. The therapies used, aim to reduce this pressure through medications, surgical intervention and laser. Other factors which increase the incidence of glaucoma include advanced age, family history, race, myopia, hypermetropia, vascular disorders and corneal thickness.