Usually caused either by raised eye pressure or weakness in the nerve.
Glaucoma is caused when there is damage to the optic nerve, caused either by raised eye pressure or weakness in the nerve. In most cases, both of these factors are involved. The eye needs ‘pressure’ to keep the eyeball in shape to make it work properly.
However, if the optic nerve comes under too much pressure, it can become damaged. The amount of damage there is depends on how high the pressure is and how long it lasts, and whether there is a poor blood supply or other weakness of the optic nerve.
There are four main types of glaucoma:
If you have glaucoma, you will be looked after by a consultant ophthalmologist.
Our patients are at the heart of what we do and we want you to be in control of your care. To us, that means you can choose the consultant you want to see, and when you want. They'll be with you every step of the way.
All of our consultants are of the highest calibre and benefit from working in our modern, well-equipped hospitals.
Our consultants have high standards to meet, often holding specialist NHS posts and delivering expertise in complex sub-specialty surgeries. Many of our consultants have international reputations for their research in their specialised field.
You will have a formal consultation with a healthcare professional. During this time you will be able to explain your medical history, symptoms and raise any concerns that you might have.
We will also discuss with you whether any further diagnostic tests, such as scans or blood tests, are needed. Any additional costs will be discussed before further tests are carried out.
We've tried to make your experience with us as easy and relaxed as possible.
For more information on visiting hours, our food, what to pack if you're staying with us, parking and all those other important practicalities, please visit our patient information pages.
Our dedicated team will also give you tailored advice to follow in the run up to your visit.
If you are diagnosed with glaucoma, an ophthalmologist will assess your condition and you will require regular appointments, at least at the outset, to make sure you are responding to treatment and that your eye pressure is in the right range for you and it is stable.
With time, and if your eye pressure stays stable, you may only require an appointment once every six or 12 months. It is very important that appointments are kept to check your eye pressure continues to be stable.
On each visit, you will have the pressure measured in the eye, the visual field tested and the back of your eye examined using drops to dilate your pupil.
We are committed to delivering excellent individual care and customer service across our network of hospitals, clinics and specialist care centres around the UK. Our dedicated and highly trained team aim to achieve consistently excellent results. For us it's more than just treating patients, it's about looking after people.
The treatment described on this page may be adapted to meet your individual needs, so it's important to follow your healthcare professional's advice and raise any questions that you may have with them.
We have excellent road links to the M1 and A1(M), and are five minutes from Harpenden train station.
COVID-19 testing or antibody tests are not available as a standalone service at Spire Harpenden Hospital.