Please be advised that this information is meant to be informative and not intended for self-diagnosis.
Only your eye care professional can provide you with an accurate account of your current visual health.
Glaucoma is a disease that damages the eye’s optic nerve. The optic nerve is connected to the retina — a layer of light-sensitive tissue lining the back of the eye — and is made up of many nerve fibers, like an electric cable is made up of many wires. It is the optic nerve that sends signals from your retina to your brain, where these signals are interpreted as the images you see.
Glaucoma causes include elevated eye pressure (called intraocular pressure or IOP) due to the eye’s inability to drain fluid efficiently.
Only about half of people who have glaucoma are even aware that they have the condition. When glaucoma develops, usually you don’t have any early symptoms. In this way, glaucoma can steal your sight very gradually.
In its early stages, open-angle glaucoma has no obvious signs. As the disease progresses and more damage occurs, blind spots develop in your peripheral (side) vision. These spots may not be noticeable until the optic nerve has become severely damaged — or until detected by an ophthalmologist during a complete exam.
RISK FACTORS FOR GLAUCOMA INCLUDE:
Family history of glaucoma
African or Hispanic ancestry
Farsightedness or nearsightedness
Elevated eye pressure
Past eye injury
Having a thinner central cornea (the clear, front part of the eye covering the pupil and colored iris)
Not having eye examinations when they are recommended
Low blood pressure
Conditions that affect blood flow, such as migraines, diabetes and low blood pressure
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