Glaucoma is a collective term used to describe a broad range of eye diseases that damage the optic nerve and cause loss of vision. Many patients believe the disease is simply due to high pressure within the eye. While high Intraocular Pressure (IOP) is the most common cause, it is not the only cause. Regardless, the various types of this disease share a common factor. That is, if not diagnosed early, treated properly, and controlled, it will result in permanent vision loss.
Glaucoma produces symptoms that make patients uncomfortable and disturbs their vision. Unfortunately, it can begin without any symptoms or obvious loss of vision. In this way, it is quite insidious in onset. If not diagnosed and treated early in its course, it will lead to progressive, permanent, and unnoticed vision loss. This is what makes it essential to diagnose and treat it as early as possible.
Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness for patients between the ages of 18-65. An estimated three million people have the disease, yet only half actually know they have it. Other studies estimate that between three and six million people in the US have higher than normal IOP, but without obvious signs of damage to the optic nerve. Thus, it is likely that another million people have the disease, but have not yet been diagnosed because they do not have access to eye care or screenings. In the US alone, approximately 100,000 patients are legally blind as a result of this disease.
Glaucoma is a very complex eye disease, and not simply an elevated IOP. The Eye Center provides comprehensive diagnostic testing and treatment, as well as taking the time necessary to give each patient the personal education needed to fully understand their condition.
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If you, a family member or friend, would like to schedule an eye examination for Glaucoma, please call The Eye Center at 303-777-5455.