Glaucoma is a group of diseases caused by abnormally high pressure inside the eye, and the progressive deterioration of the optic nerve and vision loss. It’s the leading cause of irreversible blindness worldwide, and can damage your vision so gradually you may not notice any loss of vision until it is at an advanced stage.
Because this disease usually has no early symptoms or pain, except gradual vision loss, it’s very important to get your eyes checked regularly. Early detection and treatment help protect you against serious vision loss.
Anyone can develop glaucoma, but some people are at higher risk than others – African Americans over age 40, anyone over age 60 (especially Mexican Americans), and people with a family history of the disease. Other risk factors, such as high eye pressure, thinness of the cornea, and abnormal optic nerve anatomy, are usually discovered in a comprehensive dilated eye exam.