Glaucoma is an eye condition which is characterised by loss of vision, caused by damage to the optic nerve. We have one optic nerve in each eye that transmits information (that we see) from our eyes to our brain. In glaucoma, damage to the nerve is caused by raised pressure within the eyeball. This damage to vision usually happens so slowly that you do not notice the gradual loss until it is in the advanced state, and hence it is also called the ‘silent thief of sight’.
Glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness. About 60% of glaucoma patients live in Asia.1
In Singapore, glaucoma affects about 3% of those aged above 50 and the risk increases with age, with almost 10% of those over the age of 70 developing glaucoma (based on a 2009 study by the Singapore Eye Research Institute).
Glaucoma accounts for around 40% of blindness in Singapore.2
As visual loss due to glaucoma cannot be recovered, it is important to have regular eye exams that include measurement of eye pressure (tonometry) to ensure you are diagnosed early. This can be done as part of your health screening at Icon Health Screening.