What Is It?

Glaucoma is a serious, lifelong eye disease that can lead to vision loss if not controlled. But for most people, glaucoma does not have to lead to blindness. That is because glaucoma is controllable with modern treatment, and there are many choices to help keep glaucoma from further damaging your eyes. Treatment cannot reverse damage that has already occurred, but it can prevent further vision loss. Glaucoma is an eye disease that causes loss of sight by damaging a part of the eye called the optic nerve. This nerve sends information from your eyes to your brain. When glaucoma damages your optic nerve, you begin to lose patches of vision, usually side vision (peripheral vision).


Types of Glaucoma

There are many types of glaucoma. Often, the cause of high pressure in the eye can help tell the type of glaucoma and the best treatment for it.

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How Does Glaucoma Damage My Eyes?

Doctors don't know exactly how glaucoma damages the optic nerve. For many people, increased eye pressure seems to play an important role.

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Are You at Risk?

Age, race, family history, and medical history are all risk factors that may increase your chance of having glaucoma.

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How Do Eye Doctors Check for Glaucoma?

There are three major signs that a person may have glaucoma: optic nerve damage, vision loss (visual field loss) and increased eye pressure (elevated intraocular pressure). Your eye doctor has a number of tests to check for these signs.

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How Do Eye Doctors Treat Glaucoma?

Glaucoma can usually be treated and controlled using medicine(s), laser surgery, glaucoma surgery or a combination of these treatments.

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Taking Eye Drop Medications

A simple technique can help keep more medicine in your eye and make glaucoma medicines more effective.

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Living with Glaucoma

You must work with your eye doctor if you have glaucoma. Eye doctors know how to treat glaucoma, but they have to work with you to find the best way to treat your disease.

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Medicare Benefits and Your Eyes

The Welcome to Medicare Physical covers screening for glaucoma.

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Vision Care Financial Assistance Information

Contact information for organizations and services that may be able to help with the cost of vision care.

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Living well with low vision graphic

Living Well with Low Vision is an online resource to educate those with loss of vision on how maintain their independence and quality of life. Learn more at lowvision.preventblindness.org.