Glaucoma is an eye condition that can develop causing damage to the optic nerve (in early stages) or even blindness if not treated. It is the result of too much fluid pressure building up inside of the eye. It tends to be inherited and may not show up until later in life.
If damage to the optic nerve from high eye pressure continues, glaucoma will cause loss of vision. Without treatment, glaucoma can cause total permanent blindness within a few years.
Because most people with glaucoma have no early symptoms or pain from this increased pressure, it is important to see your ophthalmologist regularly so that glaucoma can be diagnosed and treated before long-term visual loss occurs.
If you are over the age of 45 and if you have a family history of glaucoma, you should have an eye exam with an ophthalmologist every year. If you have health problems such as diabetes or a family history of glaucoma or are at risk for other eye diseases, you may need to visit your eye doctor more frequently.
Glaucoma is a very treatable condition and catching it early can make a huge difference in the ultimate visual outcome.