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​What is Glaucoma?

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What is Glaucoma?

Edward Gruber, CN

Glaucoma refers to a group of conditions that causes harm to the optic nerve that carries information from the eye to the brain. The two main types -- open-angle and angle-closure -- are associated with higher-than-normal pressure inside the eye. Angle-closure (which refers to the closing of the angle between the iris and cornea) is the far less common form of glaucoma; it develops very quickly and requires immediate medical attention. Dramatic symptoms often, though not always, include severe eye pain, nausea and vomiting, headache. Profuse tearing, blurred vision and/or seeing haloes around lights.

Open-angle glaucoma (which means the angle where the iris meets the cornea is as wide and open as it should be) accounts for at least 90% of all cases It develops slowly over a long period of time and typically produces neither pain nor symptoms until noticeable vision loss occurs. For this reason, open-angle glaucoma is often referred to as the "silent thief of sight." If untreated or uncontrolled, glaucoma first causes peripheral vision loss and, eventually, blindness.