Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions that damage the optic nerve, the health of which is vital for good vision. This damage is often caused by an abnormally high pressure in your eye. Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness for people over the age of 60.
With all types of glaucoma, the nerve connecting the eye to the brain is damaged, usually due to high eye pressure.
The most common type of glaucoma (open-angle glaucoma) often has no symptoms other than slow vision loss. Angle-closure glaucoma, although rare, is a medical emergency and its symptoms include eye pain with nausea and sudden visual disturbance.
Treatment includes eye drops, medication,laser (yag) therapy and surgery.
Who Is At Risk for Glaucoma?
Some people have a higher than normal risk of getting glaucoma. This includes people who:
- are over age 40
- have family members with glaucoma
- are of African, Hispanic, or Asian heritage
- have high eye pressure
- are farsighted or nearsighted
- have had an eye injury
- use long-term steroid medications
- have corneas that are thin in the center
- have thinning of the optic nerve
- have diabetes, migraines, high blood pressure, poor blood circulation or other health problems affecting the whole body