Glaucoma is a group of diseases that can damage the eye's optic nerve. It is a leading cause of blindness in the United States. It usually happens when the fluid pressure inside the eyes slowly rises, damaging the optic nerve. Often there are no symptoms at first. Without treatment, people with glaucoma will slowly lose their peripheral, or side vision. They seem to be looking through a tunnel. Over time, straight-ahead vision may decrease until no vision remains.
A comprehensive eye exam can tell if you have glaucoma. People at risk should get eye exams at least every two years. They include:
- African Americans over age 40
- People over age 60, especially Mexican Americans
- People with a family history of glaucoma
There is no cure, but glaucoma can usually be controlled. Early treatment can help protect your eyes against vision loss. Treatments usually include prescription eyedrops and/or surgery.
NIH: National Eye Institute
Diagnosis and Tests
- Dilating Eye Drops (American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus)
- Glaucoma Diagnosis (BrightFocus Foundation)
- Glaucoma Tests (National Library of Medicine) Also in Spanish
- Optic Nerve Imaging (Glaucoma Research Foundation)
- Screening for Glaucoma (U.S. Preventive Services Task Force) - PDF
- Don't Let Glaucoma Steal Your Sight! (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
Statistics and Research
- 10 Tips to Reduce Your Chance of Losing Vision from the Most Common Cause of Blindness (American Academy of Ophthalmology)
- Experimental Contact Lens to Prevent Glaucoma-Induced Blindness (National Institute of General Medical Sciences)
- Eye Health Data and Statistics (National Eye Institute)
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Glaucoma (National Institutes of Health)
Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: Clinical characteristics of glaucoma patients with various risk factors.
- Article: Regression-Based Strategies to Reduce Refractive Error-Associated Glaucoma Diagnostic Bias When Using...
- Article: Mutation screening of the CYP1B1 gene reveals thirteen novel disease-causing variants...
- Glaucoma -- see more articles