Save Your Sight from Glaucoma (text version)

Prevent this devastating disease from stealing your vision

Glaucoma is a leading cause of irreversible blindness.

  • Today, more than 3 million Americans aged 40 and older have glaucoma.
  • By 2050, it is estimated that the number will double to 6 million people.
  • Glaucoma costs the U.S. economy at least $2.86 billion every year in medical costs and productivity losses.

What is glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a group of eye disorders that eventually lead to optic nerve damage, which can then lead to vision loss or complete blindness.

  • There is no cure for glaucoma.
  • Vision loss caused by glaucoma is permanent.
  • Early detection is your best defense.

Open-angle Glaucoma

  • This is the most predominant form. Roughly 70-90% of people with glaucoma have this form.
  • Open-angle glaucoma has no symptoms until sufferers begin to lose their peripheral vision.

Acute Angle-closure Glaucoma

  • It is a medical emergency and must be treated immediately or blindness could result in one or two days.
  • Symptoms may include:
    • Sever Pain
    • Nausea
    • Vomiting
    • Blurred Vision
    • Rainbow halo around lights

Normal-tension Glaucoma

  • Often has no symptoms until sufferers begin to lose their peripheral vision.

Chronic Angle-closure Glaucoma

  • Progresses more slowly and can damage the eye without symptoms.

Other types include congenital, juvenile, and secondary glaucoma.

Certain groups of people are at a higher risk for glaucoma

  • In the United States, glaucoma is approximately 3-4 times more common among African Americans and Hispanics than Caucasians.

  • Between the ages of 45 and 64, glaucoma is 15 times more likely to cause blindness in African Americans than in Caucasians.

  • Asian Americans should be aware of the increased risk for angle-closure glaucoma and normal-tension glaucoma relative to other individuals with glaucoma.

Strong risk factors for...

Open-angle Glaucoma

  • High Eye pressure
  • Thin cornea
  • Family history of glaucoma
  • Suspicious optic nerve appearance
  • Being older than age 40 African American
  • Being older than age 60 for the general population

Potential Risk Factors

  • Severe Nearsightedness
  • Diabetes
  • Eye surgery or injury
  • High blood pressure
  • Use of corticosteroids

Angle-Closure Glaucoma

  • Older Age
  • Farsightedness
  • Family history of glaucoma
  • Eye surgery or injury

Normal-Tension Glaucoma

  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Family history of glaucoma
  • Low eye pressure

Annual comprehensive dilated eye exams are the best way to protect your vision against glaucoma.

  • Painless

  • Non-Invasive

  • Less than half of all adult Americans have comprehensive dilated eye exams at least every two years.

  • Only half of people living with glaucoma are likely aware that they have it.

  • A dilated pupil eye exam is the most effective way to detect glaucoma.

  • Special drops temporarily enlarge the pupil so the doctor can better see inside the eye.

Other tests include:

  • Visual Field Testing
    It measures straight-ahead and side vision using lights of varying brightness.

  • Tonometry Testing
    It measures eye pressure using a puff of air or an instrument that briefly touches the numbed eye.

  • Visual Acuity Testing
    It measures how well patients can read a chart from various distances.

  • Pachymetry Testing
    It measures corneal thickness using an ultrasonic wave instrument that briefly touches the numbed eye.

  • Gonioscopy Testing
    It allows the doctor to view the angle at which the iris meets the cornea using a special contact lens placed on the numbed eye.

  • Optic Nerve Testing
    It allows the doctor to monitor any optic nerve changes over time using special computer imaging machines.

Early diagnosis and treatment are key to saving your sight from glaucoma.

For full sources, visit www.brightfocus.org/save-your-sight-glaucoma-sources


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