There's more to healthy vision than 20/20 eyesight!

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is not just a single eye disease, but a group of eye conditions resulting in optic nerve damage, which causes loss of vision. Abnormally high pressure inside your eye (intraocular pressure) usually, but not always, causes this damage.

Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness. Sometimes called the silent thief of sight, glaucoma can damage your vision so gradually you may not notice any loss of vision until the disease is at an advanced stage. The most common type of glaucoma, primary open-angle glaucoma, often has no noticeable signs or symptoms.

If you have any of these risk factors, you have a greater likelihood of developing glaucoma:

  • Family history of glaucoma (10 times greater risk)
  • High intraocular (eye) pressure
  • Risk increases with age (although children can have glaucoma)
  • Race (Afro-American)
  • Thin corneas (central thickness of less than 555 microns)
  • Suspicious looking optic nerves or nerve fiber layer
  • High myopia
  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Eye injury or surgery
  • History of steroid use
  • Migraine headache and peripheral vasospasm
  • Sleep-related breathing disorder

Early diagnosis and treatment can minimize or prevent optic nerve damage and limit glaucoma-related vision loss. It is important to get your eyes examined regularly and to make sure that your Optometrist measures your intraocular pressure.