Alabama Academy of Ophthalmology

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is an eye disease that gradually steals vision. There typically no early warning signs or painful symptoms of open-angle glaucoma. It develops slowly and sometimes without noticeable sight loss for many years. Many people who have open-angle glaucoma feel fine and do not notice a change in their vision at first because the initial loss of vision is of side or peripheral vision, and the visual acuity or sharpness of vision is maintained until late in the disease. Glaucoma is not curable and vision loss cannot be regained. However, with medication and/or surgery, it is possible to halt further loss of vision. The best way to protect your sight from glaucoma is to get an annual eye exam by a licensed ophthalmologist, or Eye M.D.

Everyone is at risk for glaucoma. However, certain groups are at higher risks than others: African Americans: Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness among African Americans. People over 60: You are six times more likely to get glaucoma if you are over 60 years old. Family Members with Glaucoma: The most common type of glaucoma, primary open-angle glaucoma, is hereditary. Hispanics in Older Age Groups: Recent studies indicate that the risk for Hispanic populations is greater than those of predominately European ancestry. Asians: People of Asian descent appear to be at some risk for angle-closure glaucoma. Angle-closure glaucoma accounts for less than 10% of all diagnosed cases of glaucoma. Otherwise, there is no known increased risk in Asian populations. Steroid Users: Some evidence links steroid use to glaucoma. Eye Injury: Injury to the eye may cause secondary open-angle glaucoma. This type of glaucoma can occur immediately after the injury or years later. The most common cause is sports-related injuries such as baseball or boxing.

The Information Listed in This Section Is Not Intended as a Substitute for Medical Advice, but Is to Be Used Only as an Aid in Understanding Ophthalmic Practices and Procedures. Always Consult Your Physician About Your Medical Condition.

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