Glaucoma is a large subject. Generally speaking, glaucoma is damage to the optic nerve caused by raised eye pressure (with some exceptions).
Most opticians will check your eye pressure when you visit them for a glasses check and, if the pressure is high, they will recommend that you see an ophthalmologist to check whether glaucoma is present.
If a patient has glaucoma then they may be started on pressure-reducing drops or have a type of laser treatment to improve fluid drainage from the eye. Cases which are difficult to control with drops may have surgery to create a "valve" in the eye which allows fluid to leak from the eye at a controlled rate so that the pressure remains in the normal range.
If glaucoma progresses, patients gradually lose their peripheral vision and eventually may lose their entire vision in very advanced cases.
Most ophthalmologists deal with cases of glaucoma, although if a patient has a complicated type they may be dealt with by a glaucoma specialist.
Normal outflow of fluid (aqueous) from the eye. Courtesy, National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health
Outflow of aqueous following glaucoma surgery (trabeculectomy). Courtesy, National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health
Appearance of functioning trabeculectomy bleb
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