Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that damages the optic nerve. The optic nerve is a group of nerve fibers that carry information to the brain. Glaucoma is caused by intraocular pressure. Intraocular pressure increases when the eye’s fluid (aqueous fluid) cannot drain properly. The pressure then pushes on the optic nerve. If too much pressure builds up for too long vision loss may occur.
Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness in African Americans and Hispanics. Heredity plays a major factor in whether a person will develop glaucoma.
In the early stages there are no symptoms There is no pain with this form of glaucoma at first. Over time, the top, sides and bottom of vision can be permanently lost creating a tunnel vision effect.
Signs are more evident at first.
Sensitivity to light
Halos around lights
What you can do
Visit your doctor regularly to catch glaucoma early, especially if your family has a history of glaucoma. Medication may help lower the pressure in the eye which will help prevent optic nerve damage. If medications do not work, or the glaucoma is advanced, laser surgery is a possibility.