Glaucoma: The Silent Thief of Sight

Did you know, nearly 2.2 million people in the United States are affected by glaucoma?* Due to the lack of symptoms in the early stages, almost half of Americans with glaucoma do not know they have it. As a result, it is the second leading cause of blindness in the United States and worldwide.

What is glaucoma?
It is an eye condition that damages the optic nerve in the eye. If left untreated can result in blindness. High pressure within the eye causes damage to the optic nerve. Which then prevents the nerve from sending messages from the eye to the brain.
Typically, there are no symptoms or pain associated with glaucoma until severe vision loss has occurred. At this point, there is permanent vision loss. Additionally, the degree of vision loss differs for each individual.

• Most often has no symptoms
• Damage starts in peripheral vision
• Blurred vision
• Distorted vision
• Vision loss

Who is at risk?
According to the Glaucoma Research Foundation, African Americans are three times more likely to be affected, and six times more likely to suffer from blindness as a result. Hispanics and Latinos have the second highest risk. Those with a family history and diabetes are also at a higher risk. In order to help with early detection and to prevent irreversible vision loss, be sure to notify your eye doctor if you fit any of these categories.

Primary Types of Glaucoma
Primary open-angle: Primary open-angle causes peripheral vision to gradually reduce without any other symptoms. If not controlled or discovered, it can progress to tunnel vision and ultimately lead to blindness.
Acute angle-closure: Acute angle-closure produces a variety of sudden symptoms such as eye pain, headache, halos, dilated pupils, vision loss, nausea, and vomiting. Each onset of new symptoms causes additional vision loss.
Normal tension: Normal tension occurs in patients with a normal pressure within their eye and typically has no symptoms associated until tunnel vision occurs.

If you would like to view a short video on glaucoma you can visit our additional resource page: /eye-disease/glaucoma/

Please call our office if you have further questions on glaucoma or any other eye disease or condition. Our core focus at Advanced Eyecare Professionals is “To Provide Exceptional Vision Care & Education.” Our doctors and staff are always happy to answer any questions and provide additional education on specific eye diseases or conditions during your appointment.

*Glaucoma Research Foundation

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