Glaucoma is a common eye disease. Glaucoma is damage to the optic nerve and is usually associated with high eye pressure. If left without treatment, the optic nerve can deteriorate to the point of permanent vision loss and blindness.
Warning signs do not usually appear in the early stages of Glaucoma. Glaucoma occurs when intraocular pressure increases when there is either too much fluid produced in the eye or when blockage prevents the drainage of fluid from the eye. It can only be diagnosed by routine eye examinations and is pinpointed by using several painless tests to determine the intraocular pressure, the health of the optic nerve and drainage angle of the eye and analysis of peripheral vision using a visual field test.
While anyone can get glaucoma, some people are at greater risk. Family history, age and ethnicity are of particular importance. The two main types of glaucoma are open-angle glaucoma, a painless slowly progressing condition, and closed-angle glaucoma, which is painful and happens suddenly. While nerve damage and visual loss from glaucoma is usually irreversible, progression of vision loss can usually be prevented with proper management with eye drops, laser and surgical treatments.