Glaucoma: What It Is and Symptoms

Glaucoma What It Is and SymptomsAccording to the Mayo Clinic, Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness for people over the age of 60. It can occur at any age but is more common in older adults.

While the signs and symptoms of glaucoma vary depending on a number of factors, like the type and stage of your condition, it can be a very serious disease. Continue reading to learn more about what it is, risk factors and methods of prevention.

Glaucoma: A Group of Eye Conditions

Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions that damage the optic nerve, the health of which is vital for good vision. This damage is often caused by an abnormally high pressure in your eye. There are generally four categories or types of glaucoma, with Primary Open Angle Glaucoma, Angle Closure Glaucoma, Normal Tension Glaucoma and Secondary Glaucoma. The most common type is open-angle glaucoma.

Open-Angle Glaucoma

This type of glaucoma usually occurs in people over 50, and has to do with an improper draining of the fluids in your eye that normally keep your eye moist and functioning (Moore). Symptoms include: patchy blind spots in your side (peripheral) or central vision, frequently in both eyes. At advanced stages, symptoms can worsen to tunnel vision.

Risk Factors for Glaucoma

Because glaucoma is largely hereditary, it is important that you know your family’s medical history, and remain cognizant of the below risk factors (Mayo Clinic):

  • Having high internal eye pressure (intraocular pressure).
  • Being over age 60.
  • Being black, Asian or Hispanic.
  • Having certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and sickle cell anemia
  • Having corneas that are thin in the center (talk to your doctor about what this means for you)
  • Being extremely nearsighted or farsighted
  • Having had an eye injury or certain types of eye surgery
  • Taking corticosteroid medications, especially eye drops, for a long time

Methods of Glaucoma Prevention

While there is no cure for glaucoma, there are ways to prevent the onset (or delay the progression of) this group of diseases. These include:

  • Getting regular dilated eye examinations. Regular comprehensive eye exams can help detect glaucoma in its early stages, before significant damage occurs.
  • Maintaining a balanced diet and engaging in regular exciserce to support healthy metabolic functioning and processes.
  • Wearing eye protection and following the advice of medical professionals


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Works Cited

Moore, William. “What is Open-Angle Glaucoma?” WebMD, 15 Sep. 2021, Accessed 16 June 2022.

“Glaucoma.” Mayo Clinic, n.d., Accessed 16 June 2022.

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