Glaucoma Guidelines to Improve Eye Care across the Country

ARCHIVED CONTENT – For reference purposes only

Summary media release information

02 December 2010
NHMRC Media Release
Contact for further information: 
NHMRC 02 6217 9190 or 0422 008 512

Guidelines on the treatment of glaucoma, the leading cause of irreversible blindness worldwide, were released on 21 November 2010 at the 42nd Annual Scientific Congress of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists in Adelaide.

The Guidelines for the Screening, Prognosis, Diagnosis, Management and Prevention of Glaucoma (the Guidelines) provide information for eye specialists, opticians, GPs and other health workers on the best options for preventing and treating glaucoma.  They are based on the best current evidence. 

“Glaucoma puts eyesight at risk.  Identifying the best ways to overcome this risk through evidence-based practice has the potential to prevent vision loss in many Australians.” said Professor Bill Morgan, Chair of the Glaucoma Working Committee.

“The Guidelines provide a link between the many health professions involved in eye care, ensuring that the treatments recommended in different areas of the health care system are consistent.

“Many people are not aware that they have glaucoma until it is too late.  The consumer brochure ‘Could this be happening to you?’ based on the Guidelines, will inform people about the signs and risk factors for glaucoma before eye damage goes too far.”

A summary guide for GPs and other primary care providers will be available in the near future.

The Guidelines were prepared by an expert working committee established by the NHMRC, with funding from the Australian Government’s Department of Health and Ageing.

The Guidelines are an output of the National Framework for Action to Promote Eye Health and Prevent Avoidable Blindness and Vision Loss, part of the Australian Government’s National Eye Health Framework.

Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that damage the nerve carrying the message of sight from the eye to the brain. It can lead to a loss of sight if not detected early and treated effectively. Glaucoma is a leading cause of preventable eyesight loss in Australia and worldwide. A person with glaucoma usually experiences no symptoms until significant damage to eyesight has occurred. This is because generally outside vision disappears first, with central vision being lost last.

Media contact:

NHMRC 02 6217 9190 or 0422 008 512