Glaucoma - Overview
The UAB Glaucoma Service specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of all types of glaucoma. Glaucoma is a potentially blinding disease that often initially has no symptoms. It is estimated that over 4 million Americans have glaucoma but only half of those know they have it.
Glaucoma can affect people from all age groups. At first a person with glaucoma may be unaware of the disease. As the disease progresses, a person may notice gradual vision changes, including loss of peripheral vision, difficulty focusing on an object, blurred vision, and halos around lights.
Those at increased risk for glaucoma include: African-Americans over the age of 40; individuals over the age of 50; people with a family history of glaucoma; those with a history of an eye injury; and people with diabetes. Glaucoma is diagnosed by performing an eye examination and other tests of visual function. There is no cure for glaucoma, but with early detection and treatment, the disease can usually be controlled and vision preserved. Glaucoma is treated by lowering intraocular pressure, which can be achieved with eyedrops, laser treatment, or surgery. Which treatment is best is determined by the type and severity of the disease and the patient’s needs. Glaucoma is a chronic disease and requires lifelong monitoring.