In the healthy eye, a clear fluid called aqueous humor circulates inside the
front portion of your eye. To maintain a constant healthy eye pressure, your
eye continually produces a small amount of aqueous humor while an equal amount
of this fluid flows out of your eye. If you have glaucoma, the aqueous humor
does not flow out of the eye properly. Fluid pressure in the eye builds up and,
over time, causes damage to the optic nerve fibers.
Glaucoma can cause blindness if it is left untreated. Only about half of the
estimated three million Americans who have glaucoma are even aware that they
have the condition. When glaucoma develops, usually you don’t have any early
symptoms and the disease progresses slowly. In this way, glaucoma can steal
your sight very gradually. Fortunately, early detection and treatment (with
glaucoma eyedrops, glaucoma surgery or both) can help preserve your vision.