Glaucoma is a group of diseases that can damage the eye's optic nerve, resulting in vision loss and blindness. While it can strike anyone, the risk is much greater for people over 60. About 2.3 million Americans suffer from glaucoma; another two million have it, but don't know it.
There is no cure for glaucoma. Vision lost from the disease cannot be restored. However, there are treatments that may save remaining sight. That is why early diagnosis is important. Studies have shown that early detection and treatment are the best way to control the disease. If you fall into one of the high-risk groups for glaucoma, make sure to have your eyes examined at least every two years by an eye care professional
Potential risk factors are severe nearsightedness, diabetes, eye injury or surgery, high blood pressure, and use of corticosteroids (eye drops, pills, inhalers, and creams). People at risk include, especially:
- African Americans over age 40
- People over age 60, especially Hispanics
- People with a family history of glaucoma