Insightful Breadscum
Unveiling the Hidden Burden
2024 06 April

Glaucoma, often referred to as the “silent thief of sight,” stealthily diminishes vision, frequently without any noticeable symptoms until irreversible damage has occurred. As we delve into the prevalence of this condition in Victoria, we uncover not just the diagnosed cases but also the substantial burden of undiagnosed glaucoma.

The Prevalence Landscape

Glaucoma, characterised by progressive damage to the optic nerve, affects millions worldwide, making it one of the leading causes of irreversible blindness. In Victoria, its prevalence mirrors global trends, with an estimated 3% of the population aged 40 or older being affected, according to data from the Victorian Population Health Survey.  This translates to approximately 200,000
individuals grappling with this condition across the state.

The Hidden Toll

However, what is develops gradually and asymptomatically, leading many individuals to remain unaware of their condition until significant vision loss has ensued. Studies suggest that up to 50% of people with glaucoma may be undiagnosed, emphasising the urgent need for heightened awareness and regular eye examinations via optometrists.perhaps more concerning is the prevalence of undiagnosed cases. Glaucoma often

Contributing Factors

Several factors contribute to the underdiagnosis of glaucoma in Victoria. Firstly, a lack of routine eye examinations among the general population plays a pivotal role. Many individuals only seek eye care when experiencing noticeable vision problems, by which time glaucoma may have already advanced. Additionally, misconceptions surrounding the condition, such as its association solely with ageing, further hinder early detection efforts. Furthermore, disparities in access to eye care services exacerbate the issue, particularly among socioeconomically disadvantaged communities and rural regions. Limited awareness, coupled with logistical barriers, impedes timely diagnosis and intervention,  perpetuating the cycle of undiagnosed glaucoma.

Addressing the Challenge

To mitigate the burden of undiagnosed glaucoma in Victoria, multifaceted strategies are imperative. Firstly, public health campaigns aimed at raising awareness about the importance of regular eye examinations, especially among high-risk demographics, can foster a culture of proactive eye care. Moreover, enhancing access to eye care services through mobile clinics and community outreach programs can bridge existing gaps in healthcare delivery, particularly in underserved areas. By bringing screening and diagnostic services closer to the community, individuals can undergo timely assessments, facilitating early detection and intervention. Collaborative efforts between healthcare providers, policymakers, and advocacy groups are pivotal in driving systemic changes to prioritise eye health on the public health agenda. By fostering partnerships and leveraging technological innovations, we can empower individuals with knowledge and access to comprehensive eye care, ultimately reducing the prevalence of undiagnosed glaucoma in Victoria.


In Victoria, the prevalence of glaucoma poses a significant public health challenge, compounded by a substantial burden of undiagnosed cases. As we strive towards a future of equitable eye care, it is imperative to prioritise proactive screening, education, and accessibility initiatives. By shining a light on the hidden toll of glaucoma and fostering collaborative efforts, we can safeguard vision and enhance the quality of life for all Victorians.

At Insightful Eye Centre, we pride ourselves on our knowledge and desire to stay up to date with the latest research to better look after your eyes and preserve your vision. We are passionate about your sight and the health of your family’s eyes. Call us to make an appointment, book online on our website or come down for a chat with us about how you can better protect yourself against blue light and digital eye strain.


Dr Georgia Maloney, Dr Mark Glogowski, Darran Yeow and the team



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