What exactly is glaucoma?

Putting Pressure on Glaucoma

Patients ask me all of the time, ‘What exactly is glaucoma’? I’m so glad people want to know. Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness, and your awareness is the first step in staying healthy!

The most common type of glaucoma occurs when there’s a build-up of fluid in the eye. That build-up puts dangerous pressure on the optic nerve, the main pathway of information from our eyes to our brain. Once the optic nerve is damaged, there’s no getting it back.

Everyone has fluid, or ‘aqueous humor’, constantly flowing through a series of chambers and channels inside of the eyes. When those chambers or channels get blocked, we end up with a build-up of pressure that can cause glaucoma. At Milwaukee Eye Care, Dr. Nicholas Frame is a glaucoma specialist. “This drainage system does not function normally in most cases of glaucoma,” he says. “It’s important to control the pressure when it becomes elevated. If you don’t treat glaucoma, you can go blind.”

There are two main types of glaucoma with different symptoms. You may experience pain, redness, decreased vision, and brow aches, but often there are no symptoms, especially in the early stages. That’s why it’s so important to get screened for glaucoma, especially if you have a family history or if your eye doctor feels you are at risk. You may be able to control your glaucoma with something as simple as eye drops, while more advanced cases can require surgery. Early diagnosis is really important. So, now that you know what glaucoma is, we hope you will help raise awareness among your family and friends.

Written by Shawnté G, COA/Surgical coordinator at Milwaukee Eye Care.