On this page

What is it? 

A family of eye diseases that damage the optic nerve. It leads to the gradual loss of sight, beginning with peripheral vision. There is often no pain or discomfort associated with vision loss from glaucoma. 

Glaucoma has two main categories – open-angle glaucoma and closed-angle glaucoma. All forms of the disease lead to intraocular pressure that can damage the optic nerves.  

Problems with drainage can also cause glaucoma. This is because our eyes produce a liquid to clean the eye, nourish it and keep it in shape.

Simulation image of how glaucoma affects loss of peripheral vision
Simulation image of how glaucoma affects loss of peripheral vision

  • Central vision can remain quite clear. Peripheral vision gradually reduces into tunnel vision. 
  • Blurred vision. 
  • Difficulty adjusting to low light and night blindness. 
  • Increased sensitivity to light and glare. 
  • Left untreated, glaucoma can lead to blindness. 

It is a good idea to have your vision checked often, especially if you have a family history of the disease. Those over 40 years old or are short sighted are also considered at risk, as are people who have diabetes, hypertension or use steroids. Early detection can help prevent or delay loss of sight. 

Glaucoma treatment includes eye drops, laser treatment or surgery. Or a combination of the three. The purpose of treatment is to lower intraocular pressure. The best solution is different for different people. Treatment can slow and prevent vision loss caused by glaucoma, but can’t restore it. We recommend you discuss treatment options with your eye specialist. 

How it can affect your life

A loss of peripheral vision means you are less likely to be able to drive. There is also an increased danger of falls or a reduction in mobility. 

As glaucoma progresses you can have trouble reading or watching television. You can also find it more difficult to see in circumstances where there is significant glare. 

Being diagnosed with an eye condition doesn’t mean you need to stop living life on your terms. That’s where Vision Australia can help. 

We’ll work with you, providing support and products to help you take the next steps with confidence.

Download a guide

Glaucoma guide

Fact sheet summary to print or download. 

Real stories