Submitted by Josh Talkington on February 9, 2010
Glaucoma is often referred to as a “silent disease.” The reason for this is that glaucoma often has no symptoms until it has caused profound vision loss. The eye is, for the most part a hollow sphere filled with fluid. The fluid has a certain pressure to keep the eye full and in the appropriate shape. Glaucoma is a condition where the pressure in the eye is too high, which causes damage to the nerve tissue within the retina, and therefore vision loss. The vision loss typically is in the periphery, and therefore can go unnoticed for some time. The exact cause for glaucoma is still not known, however most types of glaucoma are easily treated.
For the most part, glaucoma is treated medically in eye drop form. Occasionally, when medications are not enough to prevent vision loss, LASERs or surgery may be necessary. Glaucoma can be inherited, and usually doesn’t affect individuals until the 5th or 6th decade of life. If glaucoma runs in your family and you haven’t had your eyes examined recently, we recommend having a full exam.