causes & Symptoms

CAUSES – The main cause of glaucoma is a buildup of intraocular pressure (IOP). As IOP builds, pressure is placed on the optic nerve, eventually damaging it. The optic nerve is the nerve that sends sensory information from the eye to the brain. If it is damaged, sight is impacted as a result.

SYMPTOMS – In the overwhelming majority of cases, glaucoma develops with no pain, no illness, and no obvious sign something is wrong. Its “symptoms” centre around peripheral vision loss.

The exception is acute angle-closure glaucoma. This version of the disease is marked by impaired vision (blurred), severe head and/or neck pain, nausea/vomiting (in conjunction with eye pain), and a sudden loss of sight. If you experience these symptoms seek medical attention immediately- your vision may be at risk!


Treatment for glaucoma centres around reducing and regulating intraocular pressure. This can be done through medicated or surgical means. It is critical that you adhere to your management program and do not discontinue treatment at any time (if treatment is causing discomfort, please come see us before discontinuing its use).

  • Medicated eye drops – These eye drops reduce your IOP. For most people, eye drops are on their own are sufficient to control their case of glaucoma.

  • Oral medications – Used on their own or in conjunction with eye drops, oral medications seek to achieve the same outcome: a sustained reduction and management of your IOP.

  • Surgery – For most people, eye drops/oral medications are sufficient. However, surgical options to reduce IOP are an option for those where medications are not enough on their own. Typically done via laser, these surgeries physically open the eye’s drainage canal to facilitate proper drainage.