Glaucoma is often referred to as a “silent thief of sight”. It is estimated that the disease affects over 4 million Americans with only half of affected people knowing that they have the disease. Glaucoma is actually a series of diseases that damage the optic nerve. Damage to the optic nerve and retina causes blind spots in the field of vision. Glaucoma is usually caused by an increase in the fluid pressure in the eye, either because of overproduction of fluid or from blockage in the drainage system of the eye. The higher pressure inside the eye causes damage to the optic nerve, resulting in permanent vision loss. The disease is the 2nd leading cause of blindness in the world. However, if caught early the disease is effectively treated. It is very important that you have yearly eye exams! If you know you may be at risk for Glaucoma or it has been some time for your last eye exam, be sure to schedule one soon! The earlier it is detected, the better you can protect your vision!