Glaucoma has been called the "silent thief of sight" because the loss of vision often occurs gradually over a long period of time, and symptoms only occur when the disease is quite advanced. Once lost, vision cannot normally be recovered, so treatment is aimed at preventing further loss. Worldwide, glaucoma is the second-leading cause of blindness after cataracts. It is also the leading cause of blindness among African Americans. Glaucoma affects one in 200 people aged 50 and younger, and one in 10 over the age of 80. If the condition is detected early enough, it is possible to arrest the development or slow the progression with medical and surgical means.
Glaucoma is the name for a group of eye diseases that damage the optic nerve. This nerve carries information from the eye to the brain. When the nerve is damaged, you can lose your vision.
Glaucoma is one of the most common causes of legal blindness in the world. At first, people with glaucoma lose side (peripheral) vision. But if the disease isn't treated, vision loss may get worse. This can lead to total blindness over time.
The goal of glaucoma treatment is to lower pressure in your eye (intraocular pressure). To treat your condition, doctors may choose to use drops, laser or surgery to lower your eye pressure.
Glaucoma can't be cured, and damage caused by the disease can't be reversed, but treatment and regular checkups can prevent vision loss in people with early glaucoma. If vision loss has already occurred, treatment can slow or prevent further vision loss.
Sources: The Mayo Clinic, WebMD