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How Do We See?

We each have eyes that perform very much like a camera.


The eye has lenses which focus the light to form an image at the retina (the camera film of the eye).

The signal produced by the retina travels through a cable called the optic nerve.

The cable delivers the signal to the brain, where the information is processed and interpreted as vision. 

We need all three components connected together in order to see - The camera, the cable and the brain.

anatomy reference_edited.jpg

What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is an umbrella term for damage at the head of the optic nerve where it connects to the eye. This typically occurs as a result of eye pressure the nerve cannot tolerate.

Optic nerve damage degrades the visual signal to the brain. Without a good signal, the brain is unable to process a complete picture.

Glaucoma has two forms: open-angled (common, no symptoms), closed-angled (uncommon, has symptoms of pain and blur)


Glaucoma has a few characteristic features:

  1. The most influential cause of glaucomatous nerve damage is eye pressure. This may not need to be 'high' as the nerve tolerance to pressure is different from person to person.

  2. If untreated, glaucoma is typically progressive.

  3. Glaucoma typically causes silent peripheral visual field loss. Thus, many do not know they have the disease.

What are the aims of treatment?

The main aim of treatment is to reduce eye pressure.

In turn, this should improve the odds of slowing the disease to a natural crawl. Sadly, there is no cure and it is unusual to stop the disease or reverse any nerve damage.

Thus, treatment doesn't usually make someone see better. Instead, it is designed to reduce the rate of further visual decline.

If glaucoma is treated early, there are lots of nerve cells in reserve and patients may have little or no change to their sight for many years to come.


Sadly, if glaucoma is found very late, there may be so little reserve left that even a natural crawl may still produce noticeable visual decline.

Woman Having Eyes Examined

A Tailor Made Service

As you may have gathered, glaucoma is a very individual process with different risks, causes and solutions for any given patient. 

We are a patient centred service and we are passionate that our patients receive a workup and treatment plan that respects their individual needs.

Please book in to find out more about your condition and what treatments best suit you.

Mr Yih-Horng Tham
Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon
MbChB Hons FRCOphth
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