What Is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases in which high pressure in the fluid in the front of the eye causes vision loss. When the drainage mechanisms in the eye get blocked, pressure begins to build and damages the fibers that make up the optic nerve.

There is currently no cure for glaucoma and no way to recover the vision that has been lost due to glaucoma.

Glaucoma is the top cause of preventable blindness in the United States. More than 3 million Americans have glaucoma, and that number is expected to rise to 4 million by 2030, as the population ages.

There are two main types of glaucoma:

  • Open-angle glaucoma is more common and develops slowly over time.
  • Closed-angle glaucoma is rarer and develops suddenly, with rapid changes in vision.

Other types of glaucoma are low-tension glaucoma (pressure doesn’t measure high), childhood glaucoma and congenital (present at birth) glaucoma.