Glaucoma is an insidious eye disease because it does not produce noticeable symptoms that would lead those afflicted with it to know that they even have a problem. Actually a group of eye disorders that leads to progressive damage of the optic nerve and irreversible vision loss, glaucoma is often (but not always) associated with elevated inner-eye pressure. Thus, it is very important to undergo a dilated eye exam every one to two years. Exams are particularly important for those with higher risk for developing glaucoma, which includes anyone over age 60, people with a family history of the disease, African-Americans over age 40, and diabetics. If diagnosed and treated early, glaucoma can usually be controlled. Often referred to as the “silent thief of sight,” glaucoma typically causes no pain and produces no symptoms. This is why it often progresses undetected until the optic nerve already has been irreversibly damaged, with varying degrees of vision lost. High levels of nearsightedness may also predispose someone for developing glaucoma.
May 28, 2013