Understanding That Glaucoma Does Not Mean Pressure

January 29, 2011

A common misconception among patients is that glaucoma means high pressure in the eye. That’s actually incorrect. In fact, in 1/3 of glaucoma, the pressure is normal. That’s why in glaucoma screenings in shopping malls, pressure is no longer checked.

Glaucoma refers to a slow death of the optic nerve which causes loss of the visual field. When we treat glaucoma, we lower the pressure, whether it’s high or normal. Many patients have high pressure but don’t have glaucoma- their optic nerves and visual fields are normal. In many of these patients, we leave the pressure alone and observe them. In high risk patients, we typically treat them to be safe. In some patients, lowering the pressure doesn’t help.




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