Glaucoma is a heterogeneous group of diseases characterised by cupping of the optic nerve head and visual-field damage. It is the most frequent cause of irreversible blindness worldwide. Progression usually stops if the intraocular pressure is lowered by 30–50% from baseline. Its worldwide age-standardised prevalence in the population aged 40 years or older is about 3·5%. Chronic forms of glaucoma are painless and symptomatic visual-field defects occur late. Early detection by ophthalmological examination is mandatory.