Glaucoma is the second most common cause of blindness in the U.S, affecting an estimated 3 million Americans. Glaucoma causes damage to the optic nerve, which connects the eyeball to the brain. Over time, this optic nerve damage causes permanent vision loss or blindness.
Because the disease has no early signs or symptoms until vision loss begins, glaucoma is often referred to as the “silent thief of sight.” Once the disease has advanced to the point that your vision is impaired, it’s usually too late to prevent or reverse vision loss. Glaucoma can affect anyone at any age, but those at the highest risk are people over age 40, people with a family history of glaucoma, and those with high eye pressure.