Glaucoma is an eye disorder in which the optic nerve suffers damage, permanently impacting vision in the affected eye(s) and progressing to complete blindness if untreated. It is often, but not always, associated with increased pressure of the fluid in the eye (aqueous humour).
Glaucoma has been nicknamed the "silent thief of sight" because the loss of vision normally occurs gradually over a long period of time and is often only recognized when the disease is quite advanced. Once lost, this damaged visual field cannot be recovered. Worldwide, it is the second leading cause of blindness. Glaucoma affects 1 in 200 people aged fifty and younger, and 1 in 10 over the age of eighty. If the condition is detected early enough it is possible to arrest the development or slow the progression with medical and surgical means. A constant evaluation with the opthalmologist is advised.