Understanding Glaucoma: The Silent Killer of Sight

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

DALLAS, TX -- Okay, folks – here’s a question for you: When was the last time you had your eyes checked?

Well, if it’s been a while, then you might want to see an eye doctor.

Why? Last week marked World Glaucoma Awareness Week.  What’s glaucoma, you ask? Dr. Brian Flowers breaks it down.

“Glaucoma is a condition that affects optic nerve," Dr. Flowers explained. "The optic nerve is susceptible to pressure. If the pressure in the eye is excessively high, the optic nerve will become damaged.” Dr. Flowers is a glaucoma specialist and the President of the Ophthalmology Associates of Fort Worth.

Flowers says the damage could ultimately lead to blindness. Okay, you’re probably thinking – I’m young, this doesn’t affect me. But, did you know, certain folks are more likely to develop glaucoma? What’s more, there’s no cure.

“African Americans and Hispanics tend to develop glaucoma at an earlier age, and are also more likely to have it,” Dr. Flowers said. Get this - Flowers says there are no symptoms.

“By the time you notice something’s not right – most people have already lost about 90% of their vision.”

Okay, doc – you’ve got our attention. But it’s not all gloom and doom. Dr. Flowers says there are treatments like drops and laser surgery to stop it in its tracks.

Just keep in mind -- there’s no reversing the damage. Flowers’ advice: “the only way to determine if you have glaucoma is to get a complete eye exam.”

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.