Glaucoma is known for many reasons that it can affect the vision with time Glaucoma encompasses a range of eye conditions rather than a single disorder. Across all glaucoma types, patients experience optic nerve damage caused by elevated intraocular pressure, ultimately resulting in vision loss or potential blindness.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports a global impact, affecting over 60 million individuals, positioning glaucoma as the second most prevalent cause of blindness.

Often referred to as the ‘silent threat,’ approximately half of those affected are unaware of their condition due to the absence of noticeable symptoms.

Glaucoma, often dubbed the “silent thief of sight,” poses a significant challenge as it gradually damages the eyes without evident symptoms until irreversible harm occurs. Despite its historical recognition, researchers are still grappling with the elusive cause of this disease in the majority of cases. With no definitive cure available, treatments aim to delay vision loss, yet glaucoma remains a leading global cause of blindness.

Characterized by optic nerve damage, glaucoma affects over 2.7 million individuals in the United States and surpasses 60 million worldwide. While various forms exist, primary open-angle glaucoma stands out as the most prevalent and enigmatic subtype.

Types of Glaucoma:
1. Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma: The most common form characterized by gradual blockage of the eye’s drainage canals.
2. Angle-Closure Glaucoma: This occurs when the iris blocks the eye’s drainage angle, leading to a sudden increase in eye pressure.
3. Normal-Tension Glaucoma: Damage to the optic nerve despite normal eye pressure levels.
4. Secondary Glaucoma: Develop as a result of other eye conditions or diseases.

Causes of Glaucoma:
1. Elevated Intraocular Pressure: Build-up of pressure inside the eye due to poor drainage of aqueous humor.
2. Optic Nerve Damage: Degeneration of the optic nerve fibers, disrupting the transmission of visual information to the brain.
3. Genetics: A family history of glaucoma increases the risk of developing the condition.
4. Age: Advanced age is a significant risk factor for glaucoma.

Symptoms of Glaucoma:
1. Gradual Loss of Peripheral Vision: Often unnoticed until significant damage occurs.
2. Blurred Vision: Difficulty focusing or seeing clearly.
3. Eye Pain or Headaches: Especially with sudden, acute glaucoma attacks.
4. Halos Around Lights: Glare or halos may appear around lights, particularly at night.
5. Tunnel Vision: Loss of side (peripheral) vision, leading to a narrowed field of view.

Glaucoma poses a significant threat to vision clarity, often referred to as the “silent thief of sight” due to its asymptomatic progression until irreversible damage occurs. With various types and causes, early detection through regular eye exams is crucial for timely intervention and management. Understanding the symptoms and risk factors can aid in early diagnosis and the preservation of vision health.