Prevention of Blindness Society of Metropolitan Washington
Glaucoma: See For Yourself
Glaucoma causes permanent vision loss. Metropolitan Washington D.C. has the nation's highest rate of glaucoma in the U.S.
Learn what you can do.
More than 3 million Americans have glaucoma – and half don't know it. You could be one of them.
Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that damages the optic nerve in the back of your eye. This damage causes permanent vision loss. Damage from glaucoma happens slowly over a long period, so without regular eye exams, it is difficult to notice until you have lost most of your vision.
Known as the "sneaky thief" of sight, glaucoma is usually caused by fluid buildup in the front of your eye due to your eye's drainage system working incorrectly. In the most common form, primary-open angle glaucoma, you do not feel the pressure build-up happening.
There are no early warning signs or symptoms. As the disease progresses, you may notice blind spots in your side vision. However, most do not notice a change until there has been a severe loss of sight.
But glaucoma can be managed, and a lot of vision loss can be avoided! By educating yourself, friends, and family and getting regular comprehensive eye exams, you can prevent or greatly slow sight loss from glaucoma!