Glaucoma is a disease occurring where the optic nerve sustains damage. Glaucoma is found most frequently in older persons, persons of African-American heritage, people with a family history of Glaucoma and persons with underlying health problems such as diabetes or hypertension and sometimes in people taking certain medications such as steroids.

Glaucoma occurs where the small fibers making up the optic nerve are damaged or progressively dying-off. The loss of these fibers of the optic nerve cause small islands or pockets of visual loss. Damage to the fibers of the optic nerve is usually caused by pressure on the optic nerve. Many persons with Glaucoma do not initially recognize the symptoms; small areas or pockets of visual loss. As the disease progresses, these small areas enlarge or join together and larger areas of one?s field of vision are lost or missing. In most cases, the progression of the problem is slow and sometimes barely noticeable. However, in some instances the pressure can suddenly rise causing severely blurred vision, headaches and nausea.

There are currently sixty-six different known types of this complex disease and treatments vary from eye-drops to advanced laser treatments or microscopic surgery. A comprehensive, dilated eye exam can not only detect Glaucoma but it can also frequently determine if someone is pre-disposed to this disease. Glaucoma cannot be cured however, there are numerous ways to treat the disease and slow its progression. And those found to be pre-disposed to the disease can be monitored and treated to minimize over-all visual loss.

While most experts regard Glaucoma as an eye disease where complete visual loss is most preventable, such positive results can only happen where or when the disease is detected early and thereafter regularly monitored and treated.