Glaucoma is a silent thief of vision. This is because in most cases there are no early symptoms of the disease. The peripheral vision often slowly decreases and a very slow process of losing peripheral vision and developing tunnel vision is at work. Unless you have regular eye exams, it is very difficult or impossible to know whether you are developing glaucoma. There are known risk factors such as family history, race and advancing age. Both African-Americans and Hispanics are affected at a higher rate, but all races can develop glaucoma. Similarly, the older you are the more likely you are to develop glaucoma. Regular eye exams are therefore recommended to detect and if necessary initiate treatment of glaucoma. Once again here, there is some very good news. Many eye drops have been developed that reduce eye pressure and it is now proven that reducing eye pressure reduces the progression of glaucoma. In some cases, surgery may be recommended. Some forms of surgery use a laser and can be done in your ophthalmologist office.
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