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Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Oxford Eye Hospital

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Glaucoma service

Glaucoma is a term that describes a group of eye conditions that affect vision.

Glaucoma often affects both eyes, usually in varying degrees. One eye may develop glaucoma quicker than the other.

Glaucoma occurs when the drainage tubes (trabecular meshwork) within the eye become slightly blocked. This prevents eye fluid (aqueous humour) from draining properly.

When the fluid cannot drain properly, pressure builds up. This is called intraocular pressure. This can damage the optic nerve (which connects the eye to the brain) and the nerve fibres from the retina (the light-sensitive nerve tissue that lines the back of the eye).

Any damage to your vision caused by glaucoma cannot be repaired. This is why it is so important to diagnose glaucoma early so it can be treated and further damage can be prevented.

However, a diagnosis of glaucoma does not mean that you will lose your sight: the condition can be managed with treatment, such as eye drops.