What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is the name given to a group of diseases which all have the final outcome of damaging the optic nerve (which sends signals from the retina in the eye to the brain) and permanently impair peripheral vision and sight.

It is the leading cause of irreversible blindness world wide.

Image to the right is an eye with severe glaucoma. Compared with both of the optic nerves below, this is pale, and has very little nerve tissue left.

These pictures are two optic nerves. The nerve on the left is normal. The nerve on the right has a small haemorrhage at about 'one o'clock'.
You can also see that in the area of the haemorrhage, there is a reduction - called notching - of the nerve tissue.