Glaucoma is a disease that damages your eye’s optic nerve. The optic nerve is like an electric cable that connects your eye to your brain. Over time, damage to the optic nerve causes small blind spots in the side, or periphery, of your vision. In the early stages, these blind spots go unnoticed. It is only until the majority of the optic nerve fibers die and the blind spots come together, that a person with glaucoma will notice symptoms, but unfortunately, this is very late in the disease. Vision loss from glaucoma is irreversible.
Determining whether a patient has glaucoma and whether they need treatment depends on the health of the optic nerve. This is determined by an examination of the optic nerve by your eye doctor, by testing of the peripheral vision with a test known as a visual field and by computer maps of the optic nerve which help detect early changes in a patient’s optic nerve. While everyone should be checked for glaucoma by an eye doctor, some people are at higher risk of developing glaucoma. This includes people who:
Glaucoma is known as a silent thief of sight since it generally has no symptoms in its early stages. More than half of people with glaucoma do not know they have it! Fortunately, having regular eye exams can help your eye doctor diagnose and treat this disease before vision is lost.
For more information about Glaucoma visit:
The Glaucoma Foundation
The National Eye Institute