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Glaucoma is the name given to a group of related diseases where the optic nerve is being damaged. Found at the back of the eyeball, the optic nerve is pretty important – it carries all the signals from your eyes to your brain. 


Think of the eye like a digital camera. When you take a photograph, you connect the camera to a computer to download the image. For your eye, an image is taken and then downloaded through the optic nerve to your brain for interpreting. When the optic nerve is damaged, it’s like cutting the cable connecting the digital camera to the computer. Glaucoma causes irreversible damage to this nerve, like cutting the cable connecting the digital camera to the computer. Unfortunately, the optic nerve cannot be repaired.



Eye Pressure

A little bit of eye pressure is essential for good eye health. Without any pressure, the eye would collapse like a balloon with a puncture. That’s why the eye has a pump that produces a very small amount of fluid, which circulates from behind your iris to the drainage channels in front of it. If the fluid drains readily then the eye pressure will be low, but any resistance to drainage means the eye pressure will rise. 


Unfortunately, when eye pressure gets excessive, the delicate structures within the eye can be irreversibly damaged – resulting in the development of glaucoma. Glaucoma treatment is aimed at lowering the pressure in the eye to prevent any further damage and loss of vision.



Glaucoma is a serious and potentially blinding disease – but the condition is far from hopeless. 

While damage to the optic nerve is permanent and glaucoma is incurable, it can be detected early by regular check-ups and can be easily managed to prevent further damage.

At Glaucoma New Zealand, we walk alongside you throughout your glaucoma journey. With timely treatment, good education, and the right care, people with glaucoma can retain excellent vision their entire life.      

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