Glaucoma is the name given to a group of eye diseases where vision is lost due to damage to the optic nerve. It is often called, the silent thief of sight. With all types of glaucoma, damage is usually due to high eye pressure to the optic nerve at the back of the eyeball, leading to permanent vision loss.
The loss of sight is usually gradual and a considerable amount of peripheral (side) vision may be lost before there is an awareness of any problem. The most common type of glaucoma (open-angle glaucoma) often has no symptoms other than slow vision loss. Angle-closure glaucoma, although rare, is a medical emergency and its symptoms include eye pain with nausea and sudden visual disturbance.
Currently there is no cure for glaucoma although early detection and adherence to treatment can prevent optic nerve damage, significantly slowing the impact of glaucoma.
Risk factors include genetics (family history), long standing high blood pressure and or diabetes ethnicity, and trauma
Treatment includes eye drops, medication and surgery.