What is glaucoma?
Glaucoma is an eye disease in which the optic nerve is damaged from too much pressure within the eye, leading to blind spots and sometimes blindness.
What are the symptoms of glaucoma?
Unfortunately, often there are no symptoms and that is why the disease is called “the silent thief of sight”. If eye pressure is very high, symptoms can include redness, pain, blurred vision, rainbows and haloes around lights, loss of vision, and sometimes nausea and vomiting.
How is glaucoma detected?
Glaucoma is detected in an eye doctor’s office based on the results of a number of tests. An abnormal peripheral vision test, abnormal cupping or thinning of the optic nerve, and often high eye pressure are present.
How is glaucoma treated?
The goal of glaucoma treatment is to lower the eye pressure. This can be done with prescription eyedrops or with a painless laser procedure in the office called selective laser trabeculoplasty. It is important to continue to be checked periodically to make sure that the glaucoma is stable. It is a lifelong condition that requires ongoing monitoring to prevent blindness.
Who is at risk of developing glaucoma?
People who have a family history of glaucoma, are over age 40, are highly nearsighted or farsighted, are of African American, Hispanic, or Asian descent, have had an eye injury, have eye inflammation, have high eye pressure, or use corticosteroid eyedrops, pills or inhalers are at higher risk of developing glaucoma.