Glaucoma has been nicknamed "sneak thief of sight" because the loss of visual field often occurs gradually over a long time and may only be recognized when it is already well advanced. Up to half of the people with glaucoma do not know that they have it.
Worldwide, glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness. In fact, as many as 6 million individuals are blind in both eyes because of this disease. In the United States alone, it is estimated that over 3 million people have glaucoma. Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in the United States.
Glaucoma is a disease that affects the major nerve of your vision. This is your optic nerve. The optic nerve receives light from your retina and transmits impulses to your brain that you perceive as vision. Glaucoma is characterized by a particular pattern of progressive damage to your optic nerve that generally begins with a subtle loss of peripheral vision.
Glaucoma is usually, but not always, associated with elevated pressure in your eye. This is referred to as intraocular pressure. Usually, it is this elevated eye pressure that leads to the damage of your eye (optic) nerve.
In some cases, glaucoma may occur when you have normal eye pressure. Poor regulation of blood flow to your optic nerve may be the cause of this form of glaucoma.
There are different types or forms of glaucoma. These are:
Primary open-angle glaucoma This is the most common form of glaucoma, which accounts for most of the cases of this disease. The damage to your optic nerve is so painless and slow that a large portion of your vision may be lost before you even realize that there is a problem.
Angle-closure glaucoma This form of glaucoma is less common and is also called closed-angle.
Primary or secondary glaucoma Both primary open-angle and angle-closure glaucoma can be either primary or secondary conditions. They are considered to be primary when the cause of your glaucoma is unknown. They are secondary when the cause is known.
Low-tension glaucoma This is a common, but poorly understood form of this disease.
The ways that you may be affected by glaucoma will vary according to the type that you have. Effects include:
Halos around lights
Nausea and vomiting
Severe eye pain
Reddening of your eye.
You or a loved one may be disabled because of glaucoma. If this is true, you may need financial help.
You or your loved one may have applied for that assistance from the Social Security Administration by applying for Social Security disability benefits or disability benefits. Were you or your loved one denied?
If you plan to appeal the denial, remember this. People represented by a good disability lawyer like the one at Disability Case Review are approved more often than those without an attorney.