Who is a glaucoma suspect?

A glaucoma suspect is a person who is at risk of developing glaucoma. Glaucoma is a group of conditions in which the optic nerve is progressively damaged, often due to increased eye pressure. The optic nerve carries visual information from the eye to the brain and damage can lead to vision loss or blindness.

Risk factors for glaucoma include:

  • Raised eye pressure
  • A family history of glaucoma
  • Near-sightedness
  • Optic nerves which appear to be damaged
  • Diabetes
  • Shallow space between the cornea (from the eye) and iris (coloured part of the eye) – this is sometimes referred to as a narrow angle
  • Advancing age
  • African heritage
  • Steroid use
  • Eye trauma

What do I need to do next?

You need to have a full eye examination, including measure the eye pressure, check peripheral vision, and image the optic nerve. This examination will need to be repeated regularly and the time between examinations will depend on your findings. These tests can be done by the ophthalmologist, or your optometrist

What if my glaucoma tests are abnormal?

Depending on the results, you may need to have more frequent appointments with your ophthalmologist or optometrist to monitor your condition. You may need to have treatment organised by the ophthalmologist which could include eye drops, laser or surgery.

Things to remember

  • Glaucoma usually has no warning symptoms until it reaches an advanced stage
  • Glaucoma is treatable, so early detection and treatment can prevent vision loss
  • Risk of glaucoma increases with age, so regular follow up is important


Abnormal Optic Nerve


Visual Field Loss


Thinning of the optic nerve






An example of thinning of the right optic nerve