According to the Glaucoma Research Foundation, over 3 million Americans have glaucoma. Glaucoma is permanent loss of vision as a result of damage to the optic nerve in the back of the eye.

There are two main types of glaucoma: primary open angle glaucoma (POAG), and angle closure glaucoma. These are marked by an increase of intraocular pressure (IOP), or pressure inside the eye. When optic nerve damage has occurred despite a normal IOP, this is called normal tension glaucoma. Secondary glaucoma refers to any case in which another disease causes or contributes to increased eye pressure, resulting in optic nerve loss and vision damage. Although the most common forms primarily affect the middle-aged and the elderly, glaucoma can affect people of all ages. Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness among African-Americans. And among Hispanics in older age groups, the risk of glaucoma is nearly as high as that for African-Americans. Also, siblings of persons diagnosed with glaucoma have a significantly increased risk of having glaucoma.

The best way to protect your sight from glaucoma is to get a comprehensive eye examination. If glaucoma has been detected, treatment should begin immediately.

Treatment for this eye disease is directed toward lowering the eye's pressure by medications, laser treatment, and/or surgery.

For more information on Glaucoma or to schedule an appointment, please contact the Ophthalmology department at Medical Center Clinic’s Eye Institute at 850.474.8436

You can also visit the Glaucoma Research Foundation website.