What is glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness in people over 50 years of age. It is often referred to as the silent “Thief of Sight” because it usually does not have any symptoms; however, with early detection and treatment, vision loss can usually be slowed or prevented.


How is glaucoma caused?

The optic nerve can receive added pressure when fluid that normally flows through the front (anterior) part of the eye fails to drain normally. This added pressure can cause trauma to the optic nerve, which can ultimately lead to vision loss or blindness if left untreated.


Am I at risk of developing glaucoma?

Although anyone can develop glaucoma. There are certain demographics that are at a higher risk of developing the condition, including:

  • People over 50
  • People with a family history of glaucoma
  • Mexican Americans over the age of 60
  • African Americans over the age of 40
  • People with diabetes, hypertension, or a chronic inflammatory disease
  • People who have suffered a serious eye injury
  • Cardiovascular disease


What are some possible warning signs?

Although many may not experience any symptoms, here are some warning signs as the condition progresses:

  • Blurred vision
  • Headache
  • Eye pain
  • Small blind spots in your side vision that grow slowly
  • Seeing colored halos around lights
  • Decreasing peripheral vision


How is glaucoma treated?

Treatments for glaucoma include medication, Laser surgery, conventional surgery or a combination of these. Medications, in the form of eyedrops or pills, are time-honored methods for treating glaucoma during the early stages of the disease. Laser surgery provides the internal eye fluid improved access to the drainage system of the eye. During conventional surgery, a new pathway is created for the fluid to leave the eye.

We now perform laser surgeries in the office, for more information.


Additional Information

If you would like to schedule an evaluation with Dr. Kathryn Najafi-Tagol, call The Eye Institute of Marin, conveniently located in Terra Linda, at (415) 444-0300.