Glaucoma refers to the deterioration of the optic nerve from long-term exposure to increased intraocular pressure, resulting in progressive vision loss.
Most patients never notice signs and symptoms until they are blind in at least one eye. Those who do generally report:
If you are African-American and over 40, Hispanic and over age 60, or have a blood relative with glaucoma, you have an increased risk of developing the disease. Additionally, if you’ve ever been diagnosed with chronic eye inflammation or thin corneas or you take medications that increase ocular pressure, you are at increased risk.
While there is no sure way to prevent glaucoma, the following steps can aid in the prevention and early detection:
There is no cure for glaucoma; this disease is considered a lifetime diagnosis. However, you and your doctor can work together to stop the progression of glaucoma and preserve your vision using:
Glaucoma doesn’t spread, but in most cases, it affects both eyes. The onset of glaucoma is often inconsistent between eyes. This means that one eye may be in advanced stages of vision loss while the other might exhibit no symptoms of the disease.
Unfortunately, once your optic nerve has been damaged, it does not repair itself. Blindness caused by glaucoma is usually permanent. This is why it’s so critical to see your eye doctor annually, as increased intraocular pressure can be detected before problems develop.