Glaucoma is the name given to a group of eye diseases in which the optic nerve at the back of the eye is slowly destroyed. In most people this damage is due to an increased pressure inside the eye as a result of blockage of the circulation of aqueous, or its drainage.

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In others the damage may be caused by poor blood supply to the vital optic nerve fibres, a weakness in the structure of the nerve, and/or a problem in the health of the nerve fibres themselves.

Although anyone can get glaucoma, some people are at higher risk. They include those with:

• A family history of glaucoma

• Diabetes

• Migraine

• Short sightedness (myopia)

• Eye injuries

• High blood pressure

• Past or present use of cortisone drugs (steroids)

Higher risk groups should have their first eye check for glaucoma no later than age of 35. For most people, it is recommended to have an eye check for glaucoma by the age of 40.

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