Glaucoma is a common eye condition which is generally caused by a build-up of pressure in the eye due to the fluid being unable to drain properly. This increase in pressure causes damage to the optic nerve which is responsible for transferring the image seen by the eye, to the brain.

Damage to the Optic Nerve affects the edge of your vision (peripheral vision) first, thus it commonly goes unnoticed and is often only picked up during a routine eye test.

You can listen to information about glaucoma by playing the recording below.

The signs and symptoms of most types of glaucoma’s can be very subtle – cloudy or blurred vision, especially if one eye is closed, reading, driving and mobility become more difficult.  

Life with a Glaucoma doesn’t need to be scary

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It is important that a diagnosis is made as early as possible to effectively control Glaucoma.  

People are more at risk of developing Glaucoma with age. It is less common in people under the age of 40.  

People of Afro-Caribbean origin and those with a family history of Glaucoma are also at a higher risk, as are people with diabetes, high blood pressure or short or long sightedness.  

There is also increased risk associated with taking certain medications.  

During a routine eye examination, the following tests may show that you have signs of Glaucoma:  

  • Visual Field Test – to check your peripheral vision.
  • Eye Pressure Test – measures the pressure within the eye.
  • Optic Nerve Assessment – looking at the back of the eye to check the health of the optic nerve. This will look different if you have Glaucoma.

If the Optometrists finds signs of Glaucoma while carrying out the above tests, they will refer you to an Ophthalmologist at a hospital. 

Tommy Moffat, army veteran supported by Sight Scotland Veterans - re-coloured for web


Glaucoma cannot be cured or reversed but with the right medical treatment, the damage can be slowed or in some cases, stopped.

Glaucoma can be treated using medicines, eye-drops, laser treatment or surgery. The treatment needed will depend on the type of Glaucoma diagnosed and the persons health and medical history.   

If left untreated, Glaucoma can lead to irreversible sight loss.   

A campaign picture featuring Janice who has Glaucoma holding a pool cue. The wording says: Don't lose sense of who you are because of changes to your sight. Janice Mitchell, Ex-Navy Officer & master break builder. The Sight Scotland Veterans logo is at the bottom right.

We can help you

  • Understand your eye condition and the importance of treatment

  • Maintain independence and continue to do what you enjoy

Call our free information and support line today

0800 035 6409

Our free information line is open for calls 10am - 4pm Monday to Thursday and 10am - 3pm Friday.  

We're here for you, and the whole family.

Anne Bell on phone

Sight Scotland Veterans are able to provide you with information, advice and emotional support to ensure you are receiving appropriate assistance that is right for you. We have provided support to many veterans with glaucoma from those at early stage to veterans with more advanced glaucoma. We will work with you to ensure you are as independent and safe as possible in everyday life from planning and cooking a meal, reading tasks, making your way to the local shop, ensuring you are able to administer your eye drops. Another example of support we have offered enabled veterans to continue with their love of painting and with the right support and equipment they are now back enjoying their much-loved hobbies.

- Sandra, Lead Rehabilitation Officer