Glaucoma is a very dangerous eye disease, according to the National Eye Institute. Left untreated, it can result in blindness. People with increased eye pressure are especially at risk for the disease, though not every person with elevated eye pressure develops glaucoma.
The early symptoms of glaucoma are silent, which is why it is important to have regular checkups with an eye doctor, claims the NEI. An eye doctor can perform various tests to check whether or not a person has elevated eye pressure and is at risk for glaucoma. Hypertension also places a person at risk for glaucoma.
The eye is continually producing fluid to keep the eyeball lubricated, says the NEI. Normally, this fluid also continually drains from the eye to prevent a build-up, but this does not happen in people with elevated eye pressure, or it does not happen fast enough. Over time, there can be such a buildup of fluid that the optic nerve is damaged. This can lead to a loss of vision that is permanent.
Doctors can detect and treat glaucoma early, according to the NIE. Among the treatments are medications in the forms of pills or eyedrops or surgeries that allow the eye to drain.