Glaucoma refers to a group of diseases that affect the optic nerve. It can be present in one or both eyes. In the early stages of the disease, there may be no symptoms. Vision is unchanged.
Glaucoma has been nicknamed the “sneak thief of sight” because the loss of vision normally occurs gradually over a long period of time and is often only recognized when the disease is quite advanced. Once lost, this damage can never be recovered. If the condition is detected early enough it is possible to arrest the development or slow the progression with medical and surgical means.
Worldwide, 67 million people suffer from glaucoma. Untreated glaucoma leads to permanent damage of the optic nerve and resultant visual field loss, which can progress to blindness.
Click on the image below to watch a video about glaucoma.
Glaucoma can be divided roughly into two main categories, “open angle” and “closed angle” glaucoma. Angle closure can appear suddenly and is often painful. Visual loss can progress quickly but the discomfort often leads patients to seek medical attention before permanent damage occurs. Open angle, chronic glaucoma tends to progress more slowly and the patient may not notice that they have lost vision until the disease has progressed significantly.
There are rarely any symptoms in the early stages of the disease so regular eye exams by qualified professionals are important. Ophthalmologists and optometrists diagnose glaucoma on the basis of intraocular pressure, visual field tests and optic nerve head appearance. Call 321-727-2020 to schedule an eye exam or to discuss your risk factors for glaucoma.