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High pressure in your eyes

Glaucoma, which damages the eye's optic nerve, is caused by fluid pressure building up in your eye. If left untreated, it leads to blindness.

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, half of the estimated 3 million people who have glaucoma are not even aware they have it. Early detection through routine eye exams is key to saving one's sight. Treatment includes prescription eyedrops, surgery or both.

Risk factors include age, family history of glaucoma, African, Hispanic or Asian heritage, low blood pressure or other conditions that affect blood flow such as migraines or diabetes.

There are four different types of glaucoma. Glaucoma can affect people of all ages, including infants with congenital glaucoma. Some forms have no early symptoms, which is why a routine eye exam is the best way to diagnose the condition.

During a routine eye exam, your eye doctor will take measurements of your intraocular pressure to determine whether you have glaucoma.

Glaucoma treatment will depend on the type of glaucoma and its severity. Daily medicated eyedrops can help control eye pressure. Different types of surgery are available to help control the flow of fluid in and out of your eye.

Your ophthalmologist will discuss the appropriate form of treatment for your type of glaucoma to help you make the best decision to preserve your sight.