This page is for general educational information only. Your Eye
Care Professional should be consulted.
What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma causes the gradual loss of peripheral, or side, vision.
Although linked to older age, glaucoma may develop at any age - even
The cause of glaucoma is unknown, but a number of risk factors have been
identified. These include age, heredity, myopia (near-sightedness),
increased intraocular pressure (IOP), or pressure inside the eye, and
systemic disease such as diabetes and hypertension. Vision loss from
glaucoma may be caused by increased IOP and other influences on the
optic nerve, located at the back of the eye. The diminishing nerve
function causes loss of peripheral, or side, vision painlessly and
It is important to be aware of the possibility of glaucoma, particularly
if you have any of the risk factors. Some drugs, such as cortisone
(steroid) drops, can cause glaucoma. As well, some visual disturbances
that cannot be corrected by glasses may be a sign of glaucoma. This is
also true for AMD and diabetic retinopathy.
What are the signs and symptoms?
In the vast majority of cases, especially in the early stages, there are
few signs or symptoms. In the later stages of the disease, symptoms can
occur and include loss of side vision, an inability to adjust the eyes
to darkened rooms, difficulty in focusing on close work, rainbow colored
rings around lights and frequent changes of prescription glasses.