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“Unveiling Glaucoma: Understanding the Sneak Thief of Sight”

“Understanding Glaucoma: The Silent Cause of Blindness Worldwide”

“Dive deep into what glaucoma is, how it silently affects millions, and why early detection through regular eye exams is crucial in preventing irreversible blindness. Schedule your eye exam today and safeguard your vision.”

Glaucoma, often termed the sneak thief of sight, is a complex group of eye conditions that stealthily damages the optic nerve, crucial for vision, leading to irreversible visual impairment and potentially blindness. This condition is notorious for its gradual progression, often without noticeable symptoms until significant vision loss has occurred, earning it the moniker of the “silent blinding disease.”

Public Awareness and Attitudes

According to Glaucoma Australia, 150,000 Australians are unaware that they have glaucoma and are at risk of losing their precious eyesight. One in fifty Australians will develop this disease over their lifetime and half of these will remain undiagnosed. 

The insidious nature of glaucoma means that up to half of those affected in developed nations are unaware they have the condition. This figure could soar to 90% in less developed regions.

Glaucoma encompasses several types, with the majority being “primary,” occurring without a discernible cause. 

Previously, high intraocular pressure (IOP) was considered the main culprit behind glaucoma. However, it’s now understood that glaucoma can afflict individuals even with normal IOP levels, positioning it as one of several risk factors alongside racial ancestry, family history, high myopia, and advancing age.

While some glaucoma forms manifest at birth or during childhood, most cases develop after the age of 40, with the prevalence increasing with age. There’s no significant difference in the incidence of glaucoma between men and women. 

The most prevalent forms among adults are Primary Open Angle Glaucoma (POAG) and Angle-Closure Glaucoma (ACG), with POAG being more common in Caucasian and African ancestries and ACG more frequently seen in Asian ancestries. ACG can be particularly acute, presenting as an extremely painful eye with rapid loss of vision.

Currently, there is no cure for glaucoma, making early detection through regular eye exams critical. These exams can identify glaucoma in its nascent stages, allowing for interventions that can significantly slow the progression of the disease and prevent severe visual impairment or blindness.

The Importance of Awareness and Early Detection

Raising awareness about glaucoma is vital. Many are unaware of their condition until it’s too late, primarily because glaucoma’s early stages rarely cause pain or vision problems. 

Regular eye examinations are essential, especially for those over 40 or with risk factors such as a family history of the disease. These exams can detect glaucoma early when it is most treatable, helping to preserve vision.

How to Protect Yourself and Your Loved Ones


  • Regular Eye Exams: Schedule comprehensive eye exams every one to two years, especially if you’re over 40 or have risk factors for glaucoma.
  • Know Your Family History: You may be at higher risk if glaucoma runs in your family. Awareness and regular screenings can make a difference.
  • Educate Yourself and Others: Understanding glaucoma and spreading knowledge can encourage others to seek regular eye care, potentially saving sight.
  • Live a Healthy Lifestyle: While not directly preventable, maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help manage risk factors associated with glaucoma.


Glaucoma remains a significant global health challenge due to its silent progression and the irreversible nature of its effects. However, with increased awareness, regular eye screenings, and early detection, it’s possible to manage the condition and prevent severe vision loss. 

Our surgeon, Dr Michael Karpa is a Glaucoma Specialist and will develop the best care plan for your condition with you. He treats patients medically, surgically and with laser. Surgery includes Trabeculectomy and MIGS (Minimally Invasive Glaucoma Surgery). He is well experienced in laser procedures such as Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT) and Peripheral Iridotomy (PI), the aim being to normalise your Intra Ocular Pressure (IOP). 

If you or someone you know is at risk for glaucoma, don’t wait for symptoms to appear. Schedule an eye exam today and take a crucial step toward protecting your vision for the future.

Love your eyes. Get them checked.

Best Practice Eyecare Ophthalmologists

Based on the Sunshine Coast, we provide ophthalmologist, eye care and surgical services of the highest standard. We treat and manage a wide range of eye conditions including cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration and more.

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