Glaucoma damages the optic nerve tissue in the back of the eye. This nerve is responsible for taking the images gathered by your eyes and transmitting them to the brain for processing. The greatest danger of glaucoma stems from the fact that the disease is painless and without obvious symptoms until significant damage has occurred. This is why glaucoma has received it's nickname of "the silent thief of sight."
The most common cause of glaucoma is from pressure being too high inside of the eye, but vascular disease and several others can also cause it. Loss of peripheral vision is usually the first sign of glaucoma noticed by patients because they will start to have tunnel vision. By that time, the damage is usually done. This is why it is so important to visit our eye doctors at Holt Eye Care for a regular eye exam each year to monitor your ocular health. Tests include checking the pressure of the eye, screening for peripheral vision defects, and analyzing the appearance of the optic nerve. If you are diagnosed with glaucoma, our doctors typically prescribe medications that lower the eye pressure. Most forms of glaucoma are successfully treated with eye drops. Laser treatments and eye surgery are secondary treatments that offer alternative ways to treat more advanced glaucoma.