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Focus on: Glaucoma

Podcast—What are the symptoms glaucoma?

(ANNOUNCER OPEN): Glaucoma is an eye disease that is impossible for anyone to detect on their own.  That’s because glaucoma has no warning signs and in its early stages, glaucoma has no symptoms.  Vision remains normal and there is no pain.  Dr. Anne Coleman, Professor for the Jules Stein Eye Institute UCLA School of Medicine and Chair of the National Eye Institute Glaucoma Subcommittee, explains that the lack of warning signs and potential for vision loss are what make glaucoma so dangerous.

(DR. ANNE COLEMAN): Glaucoma is usually a silent disease in many people when it first starts.  However, as the disease progresses people start to have problems with their peripheral vision or moving around, and they might start noticing items or objects or people that they’re not seeing because of the glaucoma.

(ANNOUNCER): Glaucoma can develop in one or both eyes and, if left untreated, can result in vision loss or blindness.  With glaucoma, a person may begin missing objects to the side and out of the corner of their eye, while their vision straight ahead remains unchanged.  Gradually, though, the person will lose all of their peripheral vision, so that they seem to be looking through a tunnel.  Eventually, even their straight-ahead vision may decrease until no vision remains.  Fortunately, with early detection using a dilated eye exam and subsequent treatment, glaucoma can be controlled and further vision loss may be prevented.  It’s important that everyone be concerned about this disease because, as Dr. Coleman points out…

(DR. ANNE COLEMAN): Glaucoma is a disease that affects all adults, potentially.

(ANNOUNCER CLOSE): For more information about glaucoma and its symptoms, visit www.nei.nih.gov/glaucoma.  For the National Eye Institute, this has been a Focus On: Glaucoma.