Glaucoma is the result of an elevated pressure in the eye. The optic nerve is the most sensitive part of the eye and as the pressure goes up it gradually results in the destruction of fibers of the optic nerve at the point where they leave the eye: the optic disc. When the nerve fibers are lost, the connection between the parts of the retina served by these fibers and the brain are lost as well. This results in loss of peripheral vision, light sensitivity, and eventually in its final stage total blindness. It is critical to diagnose glaucoma as early as possible through the assessment of the optic nerve, the pressure, and the visual field examination, and try to establish a safe pressure within the eye to halt the progression of the disease.
By definition, glaucoma is a progressive condition. Many things have to be taken into account to make the diagnosis, follow its progress and establish stability. Fortunately, there are several new instruments that enable us to make a diagnosis far more accurately. And with the medications and newer surgical treatments available, control the condition far more effectively then we have ever been able to do before.