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Treating Glaucoma

Treating¬†Glaucoma What is Glaucoma? Glaucoma is a disease where there is progressive damage to the optic nerve, which is the major nerve associated with vision. This damage can first cause a subtle loss of peripheral vision, and can possibly progress to a loss of central vision and even blindness. Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness, worldwide. It is estimated that more than 3 million people in the U.S. have glaucoma, with up to half not realizing they have the disease. Glaucoma may initially cause no symptoms, with the subtle loss of peripheral vision often not recognized. Causes of Glaucoma The main cause of glaucoma is elevated pressure in the eye. The optic nerve, located in the back of the eye, is the main visual nerve for sight. The optic nerve is susceptible to high pressure because its delicate fibers can be easily damaged. There is a continuous process that occurs where fluid is produced and then removed from the eye. In some people, the drainage channels in the eye may be narrow, causing a ‘clogging’ of fluid and thus elevation in what is called intraocular pressure, the pressure ¬†level within the eye. An elevation of pressure ¬†outside the norm can cause optic nerve damage. Risk Factors for Glaucoma Glaucoma is especially dangerous because intraocular pressure can build up and damage sight without very obvious symptoms. For this reason it is critical that glaucoma be diagnosed early. There are several risk factors for glaucoma, including: 45+ years of age; nearsightedness; farsightedness; use of cortisone; history of eye injury; and black racial ancestry. Type of Glaucoma Glaucoma is normally...