What is Glaucoma?

glaucoma picture

What is Glaucoma?

This stat is crazy; glaucoma affects more than 2.7 million people who are over 40 years old in the U.S. 

It’s also the leading cause of irreversible blindness in the U.S.

You can imagine why people worry about this eye disease. 

What’s even more scary, glaucoma does not present with any visual symptoms until the very late stages of the disease. 

As explained in my last blog post, bad vision does not mean unhealthy eyes. Meaning someone can see 20/20 vision and still have glaucoma. 

So what exactly is this mystery eye disease called glaucoma? Let us explain. 


1. the cord is not working

glaucoma cord problem

The optic nerve is the communication cord that connects your eyeball to your brain, kind of like how the cord of a video game controller connects to the gaming console. 

In healthy eyes, the optic nerve (or cord) transfers visual information from our eyes to the brain, giving us the perception vision that is a complete picture. 

Think about glaucoma as the eye problem that damages this cord, sort of like the picture above. Because the cord is damaged, less visual information is transferred to the brain. 

When less visual information is transferred to the brain, what you see is less too, specifically your visual field. 


2. loss of side vision

gluacoma side vision loss

If the saying is true, a picture is worth a thousand words, then someone who has side vision loss because of glaucoma, their picture is worth less than a thousand words. 

But what does mean?

Check out the picture above, the more advanced (or more damage to the optic nerve/cord) the problem, the less side vision. 

If untreated, glaucoma can damage and destroy the whole cord, meaning no visual information is transferred to the brain. 

In that situation, blindness occurs. We do not ever want to SEE a situation like this (pun totally intended.)


3. who gets glaucoma?

glaucoma picture

When I think of glaucoma a song comes to mind.

“Pressure, pushing down on me, pressing down on you…” are the lyrics from the song “Under Pressure” by Queen (BTW if you don’t know who they are, I am mad disappointed). 

Commonly known as the eye pressure disease, glaucoma can occur to other risk factors including: 

  • high eye pressures (just mentioned)
  • a family history of glaucoma (ex: a parent that has glaucoma)
  • age 60 and older
  • thin cornea (front of the eye)
  • high amounts of nearsightedness

Note that eye injuries and certain medications can increase the risk for glaucoma too. 


In conclusion, Glaucoma is an eye disease that damages the optic nerve (cord) which causes side vision loss. 

It’s a scary eye problem because once side vision loss happens, there is no way to reverse the damage. 

The good news is this, if detected early, progression of this problem can be halted.  

Like any problem in life or with our eyes, early detection is key to prevent further damage. 


call or text Bright Vision Optometry: (909)627-1111
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the content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. please seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding your medical or vision conditions.

Bright Vision Optometry is a family-owned & operated optometry office located in Chino Hills, CA 91709