Glaucoma refers to a group of eye diseases where pressure inside the eyeball increases, damaging the optic nerve. If the disease goes untreated, it can result in blindness. Loss of sight due to glaucoma cannot be reversed, however, detecting and treating the disease can halt its progression. Glaucoma is one of the leading preventable causes of blindness.
Your medical provider can perform a simple test to measure the pressure inside your eyeball. He or she uses a special device that blows a jet of air against the eye. The procedure is painless and can be done as part of a regular vision screening. Studies suggest that you first should be tested for glaucoma when you are 40 years of age.
Studies have not conclusively linked glaucoma to any particular risk factors. The key to preventing blindness from glaucoma is early detection and treatment. Have eye exams. If you have changes in your vision or concerns about your sight, consult the doctor immediately.