Glaucoma is a disease that occurs when there is an increase in the fluid pressure within the eye. If left untreated, over time this pressure causes irreversible damage to the optic nerve that can result in permanent vision loss. In fact, glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in the United States.
In people with glaucoma, the fluid within the eye does not drain properly. This causes the pressure inside the eye to rise and can cause irreversible damage the optic nerve which is responsible for sending information to your brain that allows you to see. This pressure on the optic nerve causes irreversible damage to critical nerve tissue.
There are several types of glaucoma, but the most common is chronic open-angle glaucoma. In this condition, the pressure builds up slowly over time, so you may not be aware of the problem until your optic nerve is already damaged. At first, vision remains normal. As the pressure continues to damage the optic nerve, patients may notice a loss or blurring of their side vision. If left untreated, the field of vision continues to narrow more and more, leading to eventual blindness.
Glaucoma affects as many as four million Americans, or 2% of all adults over the age of 40. Unfortunately, many people with glaucoma don’t even know they have it. That is because there are no symptoms in the early stages of the condition. However, glaucoma can be easily diagnosed by your eye care physician and treated to prevent optic nerve damage. That is why we recommend regular eye examinations for all people over the age of 40.
While anyone can get glaucoma, some people are at an increased risk of developing this disease. These include:
Soto Eye Center is the leader in bringing our patients the latest advances for the treatment of glaucoma. While there is no cure for the disorder, effective treatments are available that can control the pressure within the eye and prevent vision loss.
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