Glaucoma is a condition characterized by visual field loss and optic nerve damage due to increased intraocular pressure (pressure inside the eye). Clear liquid, called the aqueous humor, circulates inside the eye. A small amount of this fluid is produced constantly while an equal amount flows out of the eye through a microscopic drainage system. If the drainage area is blocked, the fluid pressure within the inner eye may increase, which can cause damage to the optic nerve.
The most important risk factors for glaucoma include age, family history, diabetes, African ancestry, and past injuries to the eyes. Glaucoma can be detected through a number of tests, including measuring your intraocular pressure, the drainage angle of your eye, and evaluation of any optic nerve damage.
Damage caused by glaucoma generally cannot be reversed. However, eye drops, pills, and laser and surgical operations may be used to prevent or slow further damage from occurring. Because glaucoma can worsen without you being aware of it, regular examinations are very important to prevent vision loss.