Spotlight on Glaucoma


Recently we came across an article on the Glaucoma Australia website written by the mother of one of our very own patients, Harrison. We have linked the article here as we really feel it is a story that a lot of our followers and patients will relate to. As a mum Renee was not sure what exactly was wrong with her new baby’s eyes but she had a strong feeling that something wasn’t quite right. Fortunately for Harrison, they met a doctor who had seen a case of Glaucoma in an infant only once before and recognised the need for further investigation.

What is Glaucoma?

Reading this article prompted us to share a little more information on this group of diseases known as Glaucoma. I know we have touched on these before but a refresher certainly wouldn’t hurt.

The term glaucoma refers to a characteristic pattern of damage to the optic nerve (the nerve that enters the back of the eye and carries the visual signal to the brain) along with corresponding visual field loss which is progressive.

Types of Glaucoma

As just mentioned, Glaucoma is in fact a group of conditions so its not just the one thing. There is Primary Open Angle Glaucoma (POAG) which is the most common form of Glaucoma in Australia.

Acute Angle Closure Glaucoma which is has a sudden onset of rapidly increased pressure inside the eye. This rapid increase of pressure is due to the iris blocking the drain through which fluid travels out of the eye.

Primary Angle-Closure (PAC) and Primary Angle-Closure Glaucoma (PACG) which is the result of an inherited narrowness of the drainage angle of the eye.

Childhood Glaucoma otherwise referred to as Congenital Glaucoma, Infantile Glaucoma or Juvenile Glaucoma.  There is usually an abnormal development of the eye’s aqueous fluid outflow system. Most patients with this condition, like Harrison, begin treatment in infancy or early childhood. However some may not have their glaucoma diagnosed until adulthood. Early diagnosis is critical and approproate treatment can make a significant difference in a child’s sight – as we are well aware at Sydney Ophthalmic Specialists, any vision during a child’s development is worth fighting for.

Normal Tension or Low Tension Glaucoma

In fact that’s not all of the types of Glaucoma! There is traumatic glaucoma, steroid induced glaucoma, Pseudo Exfoliation, Pigment Dispersion Syndrome, Uveitic, Rubeotic / Neovasular and Iridocorneal Endothelial Syndrome. So many conditions that come under the one umbrella of Glaucoma. For this reason it makes sense that when treating Glaucoma you consult with an Ophthalmologist that specialises in Glaucoma – which is not always possible based on location / geography, so we feel very fortunate indeed to be able to offer specialist Glaucoma advice and treatment at Sydney Ophathalmic Specialists. Dr Tanya Karaconji.

Glaucoma specialist Dr Tanya Karaconji

What is really important to remember is that Glaucoma is not an ‘older person’s disease’ as many people believe. If you have any concerns about you or your child’s vision please call us to make an appointment with one of our experienced Ophthalmologists.

For more information on all of the above types of Glaucoma, visit Glaucoma Australia or head to our Glaucoma info sheets here. To read our past article on Childhood Glaucoma click here