Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in the United States. It is the name given to a group of diseases that cause a characteristic type of damage to the optic nerve.
The risk of glaucoma increases with age, diabetes, nearsightedness and a family history of the disease. It is often associated with high pressure within the eye. The most common type of glaucoma, chronic open-angle glaucoma, causes a slow, “silent” loss of vision.