If I am diagnosed with glaucoma do I need urgent care?

With glaucoma diagnosis there are two main types. The commonest type is the open-angle glaucoma for which you would have no symptoms. If your optician measures your pressure to be 30 or higher, you really need to be seen the same day or the day after. If your measured pressure is between 25 and 29, then we have a couple of weeks to make an appointment which suits you. If the pressure is less than that, an appointment within a few weeks is absolutely fine

The second type is acute glaucoma or angle-closure glaucoma. This is when the pressure rises very dramatically over a period of hours and you will feel dreadful, so you have the worst headache you’ve ever had, your eye will be red, the vision will be very blurred and you may even feel sick and want to vomit. If you have any of those symptoms, you must be seen straight away (within an hour or two), because the time to treatment then is critical. The higher the pressure for longer, the more damaged is the nerve at the back of the eye. This type of glaucoma is not as common as the open-angle type, but it is really important that if you do have a headache, red eye, you’re feeling sick and your vision is blurred that you seek treatment that day and with prompt treatment we can save your vision.

More about Laura Crawley

Ms Laura Crawley is a Consultant Ophthalmologist at Clinica London, Imperial College Western Eye Hospital, and The London Clinic. Her special expertise is in treating glaucoma patients as well as patients with glaucoma and cataracts. She has a lot of experience in treating glaucoma, and has published extensively in scientific journals and on medical education. She still does a lot of emergency operations at the emergency department at the Charing Cross and Western Eye Hospitals for the NHS. At Clinica London she is responsible for glaucoma patients and glaucoma patients with cataracts. She also sees patients with general eye problems.