1) Glaucoma is not one disease, but is a group of eye conditions that are a result of damage to the optic nerve causing vision loss.
2) Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of vision loss in the US, and if not treated usually results in blindness. It is estimated that over 2 million people in the U.S. have glaucoma.
3) The most common type of glaucoma is, by far, primary open angle glaucoma, which affects 90% of those diagnosed. Often called the “silent thief of sight” because there is no pain. By the time the vision loss is noticeable, it can be too late to stop.
4) The most common treatment option is eye drops, sometimes more than one. It is very important to comply with your doctors instructions as close as humanly possible.
5) Risk factors include age, family history, long term steroid use, and previous ocular injury, to name a few.
You can’t prevent glaucoma, but you can lessen the effects of the disease by getting thorough eye exams, and by taking your prescribed medications faithfully.