Glaucoma is a general term used to describe a group of eye disorders that damage the optic nerve. It’s the most common form of optic nerve damage leading to vision loss. In most cases, fluid builds up in the front part of the eye. This extra fluid puts pressure on the eye, gradually damaging the optic nerve. This pressure is known as intraocular pressure (IOP), or eye pressure.

Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness for people over the age of 60. It can occur at any age but is more common in older adults.

Symptoms of angle-closure glaucoma usually come on faster and are more obvious. Damage can happen quickly. If you have any of these symptoms, get medical care right away:

  • Severe headache.
  • Eye pain.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Blurred vision.
  • Halos around lights.
  • Eye redness.

What are the types of glaucoma?

There are several types of glaucoma, including:

  • Open-angle
  • Closed-angle
  • Normal-tension
  • Congenital

Glaucoma Treatment

Your doctor may use prescription eye drops, oral medications, laser surgery, or microsurgery to lower pressure in your eye.

  • Eye drops
  • Oral medication
  • Laser surgery
  • Microsurgery

Risk factors

Because chronic forms of glaucoma can destroy vision before any signs or symptoms are apparent, be aware of these risk factors:

  • Having high internal eye pressure (intraocular pressure)
  • Being over age 60
  • Being black, Asian, or Hispanic
  • Having a family history of glaucoma
  • Having certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and sickle cell anemia
  • Having corneas that are thin in the center
  • Being extremely nearsighted or farsighted
  • Having had an eye injury or certain types of eye surgery
  • Taking corticosteroid medications, especially eyedrops, for a long time

Prevention

  1. Get regular dilated eye examinations. Regular comprehensive eye exams can help detect glaucoma in its early stages before significant damage occurs. …
  2. Know your family’s eye health history. Glaucoma tends to run in families. …
  3. Exercise safely. …
  4. Take prescribed eyedrops regularly. …
  5. Wear eye protection.