Glaucoma | Fedhealth Medical Aid
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How the eyes work

Your eyes are Ping-Pong ball-sized extensions of brain and are remarkably complex. The different parts of the eye – the optic nerve, sclera (the white part), retina, lens, iris (the coloured part), pupil and cornea – all work together to help us observe the colour spectrum.

The eye functions like a small camera by focusing light onto the light-sensitive retina, which contains cells called cones and rods. When light reaches these specialised cells, they convert the light information into an electric signal that’s relayed to the brain by means of the optic nerve. The brain fuses the two pictures into a single, three-dimensional image, giving us depth perception. Since the eyes are an extension of the brain, they are extremely vulnerable to injury, bacteria, viruses and the deterioration of their internal structures. This can lead to loss or weakening of eyesight, and even to systemic illnesses.

Treat the following symptoms as emergencies:

– sudden loss of vision in one eye
– sudden blurry vision or blocked-out spots
– persistent flashes of light on the edge of your field of vision
– coloured halos around lights with eye pain and loss of vision
– double vision, or eye pain when looking into bright light.


Glaucoma is the progressive and subtle patchy loss of your peripheral field of vision. As one eye compensates for the other, it is often difficult to notice this progressive and subtle loss. The central part of the vision is not affected until very late in the disease. Diagnosis requires a visit to an optician for an eye examination. If you are over 40, you should have regular eye tests as problems can be detected earlier.


Treat glaucoma as early as possible as vision already lost to glaucoma cannot be restored. Contact your medical practitioner immediately if you have sudden, severe eye pain; blurred vision; loss of peripheral vision or experience sudden loss of vision, as there is a form of glaucoma characterised by rapid onset that requires emergency treatment.



Acute glaucoma is a disease in which there is a sudden increase in the pressure in the eye. This usually occurs in one eye and is associated with sudden loss of vision. It happens when the liquid in the eye is unable to drain correctly.It is more common in older women who are long-sighted, and is unusual under the age of 45. Symptoms include severe pain in the eye, decreased vision and sometimes nausea and vomiting. Initial treatment is aimed at lowering the pressure inside the eye. The final treatment is by laser or surgery to prevent the problem from recurring.

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