Glaucoma is the name for a group of eye diseases that damage the optic nerve. The optic nerve carries the information from the eye to the brain, so when that nerve is damaged you can lose your vision.
The Silent Thief of Sight
When left untreated, glaucoma can cause blindness. It is one of the leading causes of blindness in adults. It is known as the “silent thief of sight” because the condition does not usually show any symptoms until the disease has progressed to a point of extensive vision loss.
While glaucoma may not be preventable, you may slow down its progression with early treatment. This makes regular eye examinations essential for early detection and treatment. During an eye evaluation, you will undergo a series of painless tests:
- Dilated eye exams
- Eye pressure measurements,
- Visual field testing
Types of Glaucoma
(most common) is characterized as the chronic, progressive degeneration of the eye’s anterior optic nerve. It usually affects both eyes simultaneously.
(less common) usually affects only one eye at a time. This type manifests several symptoms acutely, including eye pain, colored halos around lights, blurring of vision, and nausea and vomiting.
Although vision loss cannot be reversed, glaucoma can be treated by slowing down the rate of its progression as early as possible.
Special eye drops are prescribed to reduce intraocular pressure; these drops can be applied once or multiple times a day, depending on the prescription.
Surgery may be required when the drops no longer have the same impact, although there are cases where surgery is the first option.