Glaucoma is an eye disease that is characterized by damage to the optic nerve. It usually occurs when the pressure in the eyeball itself is high. The optic nerve is the nerve that carries information from the eye to the brain. It is the most common cause of irreversible blindness in African Americans.
There are usually no symptoms for glaucoma until late in the disease process. Patients usually experience peripheral or side vision loss slowly over time. Only once that vision loss has approached the central vision do patients have symptoms.
Treatment consists of eye drops to lower eye pressure, laser to release pressure in the eye, and sometimes surgery to further lower eye pressure. The surgeons at Washington Eye Institute can discuss with you the best treatment options.