Glaucoma is called the “Sneak Thief of Sight”

Glaucoma Facts

  • Glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness world wide.
  • One in 10 Australians over 80 will develop glaucoma.
  • First degree relatives of glaucoma patients have an 8-fold increased risk of developing the disease.
  • At present, 50% of people with glaucoma in Australia are undiagnosed.
  • Australian health care cost of glaucoma in 2005 was $342 million.
  • The total annual cost of glaucoma in 2005 was $1.9 billion.
  • The total cost is expected to increase to $4.3 billion by 2025.
  • The dynamic model of the economic impact of glaucoma enables cost-effectiveness comparison of various interventions to inform policy development.

Glaucoma is the name given to a group of eye diseases that damage the optic nerve that links the retina to the brain. Often, glaucoma is associated with too much pressure inside the eyeball. It is a leading cause of damage to vision or blindness in people over 40 but can affect people of any age. If glaucoma is detected early, treatment can prevent or reduce vision loss in most patients.

Click here to view a RANZCO information sheet on Glaucoma.

Treatment of Glaucoma

Unfortunately we have no cure for this condition. Therefore treatment is life long in order to prevent permanent vision loss.

Broadly speaking treatment involves eye drops, laser or surgery.

Source: Tunnel Vision. The economic impact of Open Angle Glaucoma, Centre for Eye Research Australia, 2008 is a useful resource with comprehensive information, click here.