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Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness in the United States, especially among the elderly. Loss of sight from glaucoma is preventable if treatment is obtained early enough. Our understanding of glaucoma has advanced significantly in the past 30 years. Glaucoma is a disease of the optic nerve, which connects the eye to the brain. The optic nerve carries the images we see to the brain where they are recognized and understood. The optic nerve is like an electric cable containing a huge number of wires. If some of these "wires" are damaged, some information is lost, resulting in "blind spots" in vision. Often, people do not notice these blind spots until much optic nerve damage has occurred. If all the wires are damaged, all vision is lost and blindness results.

Millions of Americans have glaucoma and almost 100,000 new cases are diagnosed each year. Ninety percent (90,000) of those 100,000 have "open-angle glaucoma," a condition with a pattern of vision loss associated with an increase of pressure in the eye. There are no early warning signs for this dangerous disease that is sometimes called the "sneak thief of sight."

Find out more about glaucoma by clicking on the topics below:

  What Exactly is Glaucoma?  

  Some Startling Numbers  

  Types of Glaucoma  

  Myths and Facts about Glaucoma  

  What Are the Risk Factors?  

  Symptoms and Detection  

  How is Glaucoma Treated?  

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Date of Last Update: 07/27/12