Glaucoma is a serious condition of the eye effecting approximately 2% of the population. This disease robs millions of people of their eyesight and if left untreated, it can cause total, irreversible blindness. Glaucoma can strike anyone but with proper diagnosis and treatment, blindness can be prevented in most cases. Early diagnosis is the key to prevention of blindness from glaucoma. Glaucoma is characterized by optic nerve damage and visual field loss. Typically it involves increased pressure inside the eye that affects the delicate tissues of the optic nerve. There are many diagnostic aids that help in the diagnosis and care of this disease. Treatment for glaucoma will vary according to individual patients and includes both systemic and topical medications, laser surgery, standard filtering surgery, and drainage implant devices.
Risk factors include those people with a family history of glaucoma, people who have diabetes, African Americans, and persons who have an elevated ocular pressure.