What Is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is an eye disease that, if untreated, can damage the optic nerve of the eye and result in permanent visual loss. It is usually associated with increased intraocular pressure (IOP). (Intraocular means within the eye.) Increased intraocular pressure results from either increased production or decreased drainage of aqueous humor, a clear fluid within the front of the eye. The resulting increase in pressure within the eye may eventually damage the optic nerve. This increase in intraocular pressure is by far the most common risk factor for vision loss due to glaucoma.
What Causes Glaucoma?
Many factors are associated with an increased risk of developing glaucoma; some of which are elevated intraocular pressure (IOP), family history, ethnic background, and older age. Glaucoma most commonly affects both eyes.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/23/2014
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While any type of glaucoma can be unilateral, primary open-angle glaucoma, primary angle-closure glaucoma, primary infantile glaucoma, juvenile-onset glaucoma, and pigmentary glaucoma are generally bilateral diseases, the severity of which may be asymmetric in the two eyes.