Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness in the United States. It is a disease of the optic nerve, which carries the images we see to the brain. Glaucoma is often caused by different eye diseases that produce increased pressure within the eye.
An estimated 3 million Americans have glaucoma and half of them don't even know they have it.
People with a higher risk for developing glaucoma include:
- People older than age 60
- African Americans older than age 40
- Those with a family history of glaucoma
- People who may have suffered an eye injury
- Those who take certain medications, such as corticosteroids
With virtually no warning signs or symptoms in its most common form, glaucoma is the leading cause of preventable blindness. The best way to protect your sight is to have an annual comprehensive eye examination. By taking this important initial step toward your overall eye wellness, diagnosis and treatment can begin early to help prolong healthy vision.
It is recommended that people with a higher risk of developing glaucoma have a dilated eye examination every 1 to 2 years.