Glaucoma is a an eye disease that causes optic nerve damage and ultimately vision loss if left untreated. It is one of the leading causes of blindness worldwide. It is estimated that two million people in the United States have been diagnosed with glaucoma, with another two million who have the disease but have not been evaluated. Take a minute to watch the videos below to learn more about glaucoma and how it is treated.
Glaucoma occurs when the intraocular pressure (IOP) becomes abnormally elevated, which in turn produces damaging pressure on the optic nerve. This is caused by the abnormally high production of the internal fluid of the eye (aqueous humor), the abnormally slow drainage of aqueous, or both. Symptoms of glaucoma can be undetected by the patient until it is advanced, when patients start to notice vision loss in the periphery of their visual field.
There are many different varieties of glaucoma; the most common one is called open angle glaucoma. Most are described as a painless, gradual vision loss that can span over years or decades, but some can be painful and cause irreversible vision loss over a much shorter period of time. There is no known cure for glaucoma, but new and better treatments have made it a manageable condition in which further vision loss can be arrested with early diagnosis.
How does glaucoma affect your vision over time? Click here.