It is a condition that damages the optic nerve in the back of the eye.
In most people who have glaucoma, their elevated eye pressures start the damaging cascade of events. In others, there is a vascular component that the nerve cells in optic nerve do not receive the nutrition they need, so they start to die. People who have this type of glaucoma have normal eye pressures, but show damage that can be mapped out with a visual field or tomography.
Their glaucoma can be inherited, so if you have a family history, it is important to tell your eye doctor. Also, African-Americans and Hispanics are more likely to develop the condition. Additionally, diabetics are more likely to develop glaucoma, as well as people who have had any type of eye injury from impact, such as a projectile object hitting the eye, causing soft tissue damage. However, glaucoma resulting from traumatic events does not occur until later in life.
Source: The Chronicle-Telegram 1-26-2018 by Dr. Andrea L. Fisher Special to The Chronicle
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