What is Glaucoma?


Glaucoma refers to a group of diseases that damage the optic nerve, which carries visual information from the back of the eye to the brain. Although glaucoma may not have symptoms in the beginning, eventually permanent vision loss can occur. Vision loss from glaucoma is irreversible, therefore early identification, treatment, and consistent follow-up are important. Risk factors for glaucoma include age, family history, the shape of the eye, race/ethnicity, and increased eye pressure.

Symptoms: Glaucoma can happen to anybody. Often there are no symptoms in early stages; progressive loss of vision occurs in later stages. Some types of glaucoma such as acute angle-closure glaucoma can result in sudden significant eye pain and cloudy vision. Learn more.

Diagnosis: Based on an exam by an eye doctor, supplemented by imaging and visual field testing. Learn more.

Treatment: Treatment aims to lower eye pressure and help to slow down or prevent vision loss. Treatments include: laser, surgery, and prescription eye drops. Learn more.

Types of Glaucoma: There are several types of glaucoma and each type is different. Most types of glaucoma have no early symptoms, so it's important to get tested regularly, especially if you are at higher risk. Learn more.

Who Is At Risk?

Because the symptoms of glaucoma can be mild, or even non-existent, regular screenings are important. it is recommended that individuals get a baseline screening done at the age of 40.


  • Those who are aged 60 or older
  • Those who have a family history of glaucoma
  • Those who are of African American, Latino, or Asian descent
  • Those who are significantly near-sighted
  • Those who have risk factors based on eye exam, such as elevated eye pressure, narrow angles, or particular optic nerve findings


If you think it’s time to get screened or if you would like to know more about these and other eye diseases, please contact us today to book an appointment with a Wills Eye specialist.

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