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Glaucoma: what the neurologist needs to know
  1. Gavin L Reynolds1,
  2. Gordon Plant2,
  3. Simon Epps1,
  4. Rani Sebastian1,
  5. Luke Bennetto1,3
  1. 1University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust, Bristol Eye Hospital, Bristol, UK
  2. 2National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, London, UK
  3. 3Department of Neuroscience, North Bristol NHS Trust Southmead Hospital, Bristol, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Gavin L Reynolds, University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust, Bristol Eye Hospital, Bristol, UK; gavin.reynolds{at}


Glaucoma is a progressive optic neuropathy resulting from pathological changes at the optic disc due to elevated intraocular pressure. Its diagnosis, treatment and follow-up are almost entirely conducted in ophthalmology clinics, with screening conducted by community optometrists. Despite this, neurologists may encounter glaucoma in both its acute presentation (as angle closure, presenting as acute headache) and its chronic forms (often as optic neuropathy of unknown cause). An awareness of the underlying pathological process, and the key distinguishing signs and symptoms, will allow neurologists to identify the glaucomatous process rapidly. Timely referral is essential as glaucoma invariably results in progressive visual loss without treatment. This review therefore condenses the wide field of glaucoma into a practical summary, aimed at practitioners with limited clinical experience of this ophthalmic condition.


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  • Contributors GLR was responsible for original draft creation, manuscript production, and figure production. GP, SE and RS provided review and editing. LB provided review, editing and final overview.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned. Externally peer reviewed by James Morgan, Cardiff, UK.