Glaucoma is sometimes called the silent thief of sight, as it can damage your vision so gradually that you don’t notice any vision loss until the disease is at an advanced stage. It is the second leading cause of blindness.
Vision experts believe that half of those affected by glaucoma may not know it, since there are usually no symptoms in its early stages. By the time someone notices something is wrong with their vision, the disease has already caused considerable damage.
Glaucoma is actually a group of eye diseases that can lead to damage of the optic nerve. The optic nerve is the bundle of nerve fibers that carry information from the eye to the brain. Damage to the optic nerve can lead to vision loss and possibly blindness. This damage usually occurs when the eye pressure, or intraocular pressure, is too high.
Glaucoma can, however, be detected in its earlier stages during regular checkups by your eye care specialist. A careful measurement of your eye pressure and examination of your optic nerve, through a dilated pupil, can give patients peace of mind in understanding their risks of this disease. It is also helpful to remember that although glaucoma cannot be cured, treatments for glaucoma are available.