Glaucoma at a Glance

50+ African-American couple hugging and smiling.

Glaucoma is commonly referred to as the silent thief of sight and is one of the leading causes of preventable blindness worldwide. It affects over 3 million Americans and 70 million people around the world, most of whom don’t even know they have it.

Things to know and remember:

  • Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that can cause vision loss and blindness by damaging a nerve in the back of your eye called the optic nerve.
  • Glaucoma is a leading cause of vision loss and blindness in the United States — especially for older adults and African Americans.
  • Symptoms may start so slowly that you may not notice them.
  • The only way to find out if you have glaucoma is to get a comprehensive dilated eye exam.
  • There are several types of treatment for glaucoma, including medicines (usually eye drops), laser treatment, and surgery
  • There’s no cure for glaucoma, but early treatment can often stop the damage and protect your vision.

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