Picture of Glaucoma
Glaucoma (the sneak thief of sight) refers to certain eye diseases that affect the optic nerve and cause vision loss. It typically produces elevated pressure inside the eye, called intraocular pressure (IOP) and can usually be classified as either open-angle (chronic conditions of long duration) or closed-angle (angle closure), which occur suddenly. The elderly, African-Americans, and people with family histories of the disease are at greatest risk. There are no symptoms in the early stages and by the time the patient notices vision changes, visual loss due to glaucoma can only be halted, not reversed. Glaucoma is usually treated with eye drops, although lasers and surgery can also be used. Most cases can be controlled well with these treatments, thereby preventing further loss of vision. Early diagnosis and treatment is the key to preserving sight in people with glaucoma.
Reviewed by Andrew A. Dahl, MD, FACS on September 17, 2009
Image Source: Andrew A. Dahl, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Text: eMedicineHealth - Glaucoma