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You could be extremely alarmed when you understand that almost two and a half million people have Glaucoma. More than half of these people do not even realize they have the disease because there are often no warning symptoms. Glaucoma is known as the “silent-thief” of sight because it silently steals your vision without you even realizing it. If you do not have routine eye exams to check the status of your eye health, glaucoma and other diseases will steal your vision. Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the U.S. and the leading cause of preventable blindness. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology Approximately 2.2 million Americans age 40 and older have glaucoma.
Glaucoma is a disease that damages the optic nerve and causes vision loss - often without warning and symptoms. Like a cable wire, the optic nerve is responsible for carrying the images we see to the brain. Damage to the optic nerve can occur when the pressure within the eye increases, usually due to a build-up of aqueous fluid inside the eye. This leads to the development of blind spots in our field of vision. However, damage may occur without elevation of the intra-ocular pressure. Conversely, the pressure may at times be elevated without damaging the optic nerve. This is a condition known as Ocular Hypertension. Blind spots in the field of vision usually go undetected by the individual until the optic nerve is significantly damaged and a great loss of peripheral or central vision has occurred. A Visual Field evaluation can detect glaucomatous damage in its very early stages. If the disease is untreated the optic nerve may be damaged to a point that irreversible blindness will result.
Glaucoma, often called the "sneak thief of sight" because it usually has no symptoms, affects about 3 million Americans and 67 million people worldwide. It is a leading cause of blindness in the United States, particularly among the elderly population.