Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Controversies in the history of glaucoma: is it all a load of old Greek?
  1. Michael Tsatsos,
  2. David Broadway
  1. Department of Ophthalmology, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, UK
  1. Michael Tsatsos, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, Ophthalmology Department, Colney Lane, Norwich, NR4 7UY UK; michaeltsatsos{at}

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

Contemporary medical terminology frequently stems from ancient Greek origins. However, there is some controversy relating to the true derivation of the word “glaucoma”. The disorder, now defined as glaucoma, was first documented by the Ancient Greeks in 400 BC.1 “Glaucosis” was first mentioned in Hippocratic writings as a blinding disease occurring most commonly in the elderly.2 The description stated “that once the pupil has the colour of the sea – eyesight is destroyed and you will often find that the other eye is also blind”. It is thought that this condition probably included various sight-threatening conditions including cataract and keratitis in addition to glaucoma. Opacification of the cornea or the lens …

View Full Text


  • Competing interests: None.