Glaucoma is an eye disease that slowly robs you off your sight. Although, glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in the United states, half of the people who have glaucoma are unaware of their condition.
Glaucoma is when the Optic nerve, the nerve that carries visual information from your eye to your brain, is damaged due to the increased eye pressure (IOP). Eye pressure, which is different from blood pressure, increases when the drainage of aqueous humor (clear fluid) in the eye is slower than it’s production. Although, it is the increased IOPs that causes nerve damage, some people may get optic nerve damage at low pressure levels. With damage to the optic nerve, you will start to lose vision. Visual field loss depends on the location of the damage to the nerve. Left untreated, could involve most of the visual field rendering a person to become legally blind.
The goal of glaucoma treatment is to lower IOP enough to stop further optic nerve damage. Most of the time the first line of treatment is medicated eye drops that reduce production and/or increase drainage of aqueous humor. Laser therapy and surgery also aid in the management of glaucoma. Although, open-angle glaucoma cannot be cured, it can usually be controlled with proper care.
Glaucoma is found most often during a dilated eye examination. Therefore it is important to have your eyes examined on regular basis so diagnosis can be done early to preserve your vision.