Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness. Fortunately, if you or a loved has glaucoma, sight can be often be preserved if it is diagnosed and comprehensively treated in its early stages. Because glaucoma is initially painless and relatively symptom-free, many are unaware they have the disease until serious damage occurs. The first noticeable sign is frequently the loss of peripheral or “side” vision. The solution to preventing progressive, irreversible vision loss from glaucoma is to schedule regular vision exams with your eye doctor.
What causes glaucoma?
Glaucoma is caused by fluid build up and the resultant pressure inside the eye. Excessive pressure is applied to the optic nerve, eventually damaging the nerve and preventing it from sending signals to the brain.
Though glaucoma can affect anyone, Mexican-American seniors are at greater risk of glaucoma than the general population. In addition, African Americans aged 40+, diabetics, and people with a family history of glaucoma face increased odds of having the condition. Diagnosing glaucoma early is one of many reasons you should have a regular eye exam.
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