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Reducing your risk of glaucoma

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The first part of your sight to be affected by glaucoma is your side (or peripheral) vision. But you might not notice you're losing your vision until it's quite advanced, especially if you have the most common type of glaucoma.

Glaucoma is more common as you get older. Around 2% of people in New Zealand have glaucoma, but around 10% of people over 70 have it. You're also at a higher risk of glaucoma if you:

Reducing your risk of glaucoma

The best way to prevent glaucoma damaging your sight is to have regular eye examinations.

Glaucoma is often picked up during a routine eye examination before you've noticed any symptoms. We can't prevent glaucoma, but if we pick it up early, we can treat it before it affects your vision.

It's best to get a regular eye examination from an optometrist or ophthalmologist, although you'll have to pay for this. How often you should have an eye examination depends on your circumstances.

Regular eye examinations can help to make sure you'll be diagnosed and treated early if you have glaucoma or another sight-threatening condition, such as macular degeneration.

On the next page: Treating glaucoma

Written by Canterbury optometrists. Adapted by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Endorsed by clinical director, Ophthalmology, Canterbury DHB. Last reviewed April 2018. Last updated October 2018.

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Review key: HIGLC-114674