Approximately 2.5 million Americans have glaucoma, but one half may be unaware that they have a potentially blinding disease because they have no symptoms.
Glaucoma is a condition associated with elevated pressure inside the eye, which can damage the optic nerve and cause vision loss.
At first, there are usually no symptoms, but as the disease progresses a person with glaucoma may notice his or her vision gradually failing with:
- Blurred vision
- Presence of halos around lights
- Loss of peripheral vision
- Difficulty focusing on objects
Although anyone can develop glaucoma, some people are at higher risk and need to see an Eye M.D. more often. Those who should have an eye exam at least every one to two years include:
- African Americans over age 40
- Individuals over age 65
- People with a family history of glaucoma
- Individuals that have experienced a serious eye injury
- People with diabetes (exam every year)
Although glaucoma cannot be cured, early detection and treatment can usually preserve vision. An Eye M.D. can help control glaucoma with eye drops, oral medications or surgery. If left untreated, glaucoma can lead to blindness.