Click here to find out the American Academy of Ophthalmology's view on glaucoma.
What is glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a disease of the optic nerve and a leading cause of blindness for people over 60 years old. It starts by affecting the peripheral vision and proceeds to involve the central vision in its late stages. Until very late in the disease, patients do not notice any change in their vision. Therefore glaucoma is called a silent disease. Routine eye exam allows early diagnosis and treatment to prevent irreversible vision loss by glaucoma. In early stages, glaucoma is often easily treated by eye drops or a simple laser procedure but later stages may need surgery to prevent blindness.
Glaucoma is divided into two types: open-angle glaucoma and close- or narrow-angle glaucoma.
Who is at higher risk of glaucoma?
Anyone can get glaucoma but glaucoma is more common in:
Age above 40
Family history of glaucoma
African, Hispanic, or Asian heritage
Farsighted or nearsighted
History of eye injury
Long-term use of steroids
Diabetes, migraines, high blood pressure