Apart from the occasional adjustment to your eyewear prescription, your routine eye exam usually offers no surprises. However, at your latest exam you received a worrisome diagnosis. Your eye specialist detected elevated eye pressure that's often an indicator of glaucoma. Thankfully, damage to your vision appears to be very slight and unnoticeable to you — and your doctor says that treatment steps should be able to keep it that way.
Glaucoma is a group of eye disorders that can damage the optic nerve and pose a serious vision threat at any age, but especially in older adults. It's sometimes called a "silent thief of sight" because it can gradually rob you of your vision while you barely even notice it's happening to you.
Most glaucoma can't be prevented, but regular eye exams can catch early signs before substantial vision loss occurs. Although there's no way to reverse damage already done, treatment to lower pressure in your eye can slow vision loss and progression of the disease.
Internal eye pressure is maintained by the continuous flow of a fluid (aqueous humor) that drains out of the eye through a sievelike drainage system (trabecular meshwork). Sometimes, drainage of aqueous humor becomes obstructed, raising pressure within the eye and putting you at a greatly increased risk of glaucoma and optic nerve damage.
Internal eye pressure (intraocular pressure) allows the eye...
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