What Is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is an eye disease that develops slowly but can gradually lead to irreversible vision loss. Most people with glaucoma go years before noticing any symptoms.

Glaucoma is caused by increased pressure on the optic nerve, which carries visual signals to the brain so we can see. For the eye to function normally, there has to be a balance between the fluid produced and drained by the eye.

When fluid builds up and cannot be drained, it accumulates in the front of the eye, resulting in increased pressure. Over time, the pressure is transferred to the rest of the eye and the optic nerve. The field of vision then decreases and, without appropriate treatment, glaucoma may lead to blindness.

In Canada, glaucoma affects 1% of people over 40, 5% of those over 70, and 10% of those over 80. However, glaucoma can occur at any age, which is why it’s important to have regular eye exams to prevent it from progressing. Your eye care professional can screen for glaucoma and treat it before the first symptoms appear.

For more information, feel free to contact your Opto-Réseau optometrist.