What you need to know about glaucoma 

Glaucoma is an eye condition that causes damage to the optic nerve, leading to vision loss and even blindness. According to the Mayo Clinic, glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness in the US, and the condition often has no warning signs. Infact, the effect is so gradual that many glaucoma patients don't realize they have a problem until the condition has severely affected their vision.
The eye condition is caused when abnormally high pressure is placed on the eye damaging the optic nerve, which transmits the images we see to our brain, according to WebMD. When someone loses vision due to glaucoma their vision can't be recovered, so it's important to understand the condition, as well as the warning signs and symptoms to treat glaucoma. 
Risk factors
Glaucoma is a condition that's the result of damage to the optic nerve in the eye. Doctors still don't fully understand glaucoma but they know that the nerve damage and vision deterioration is usually related to an increase in pressure on the eye, according to the Mayo Clinic.
The Mayo Clinic explains that this eye pressure happens when fluid builds up in the eye by either the overproduction of fluid or when the drainage system isn't working properly. Some risk factors for developing glaucoma include:
- A family history of the condition
- Having high internal eye pressure 
- Being over age 60
- Being black or Hispanic
- Certain medical conditions like: diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and sickle cell anemia
- Certain eye conditions like nearsightedness'
- Previous eye injuries or certain types of eye surgery
- Early estrogen deficiency, like the removal of both ovaries before the age of 43
- Taking corticosteroid medications, especially eyedrops, for a long time
information provided from the Mayo Clinic
Signs and symptoms
A major problem with glaucoma is that many people don't realize they have the condition until it has progressed significantly. Detecting glaucoma early on is very important for treatment, so WebMD says it's important to see your eye doctor every year or two so they can check. It's important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of glaucoma so that you can be on the lookout in between appointments.
Sometimes the eye pressure can be so severe it causes:
- Sudden eye pain
- Headache
- Blurred vision
- Appearance of halos around lights
Sometimes you can't feel the pressure though, and other symptoms include:
- Seeing halos around lights
- Vision loss
- Redness in the eye
- Eye that looks hazy
- Nausea or vomiting
- Pain in the eye
- Narrowing of vision, like tunnel vision
Early detection and treatment
As mentioned above, early detection of glaucoma is key for treatment and it's important to see your eye doctor regularly so that they can hopefully detect it before symptoms arise. Glaucoma cannot be cured, and vision lost with the condition can't be restored, but if caught early on doctors can help delay the condition and improve symptoms.
The National Eye Institute says that if glaucoma is detected early on, there are certain medicines that can be used to help treat the condition. Eye drops are available to lower pressure, and there are medications to help the eye make less fluid, lower pressure and help the eye drain better.
In addition to medications, there's also laser treatments and surgeries for glaucoma patients. The National Eye Institute explains that laser trabeculoplasty helps to drain fluid out of the eye, and surgeries make a new path for the fluid to drain out of the eye. 
All of these medications and procedures should be discussed with your health professional so they can help determine what will work best for you, and how the condition is progressing.
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