Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in the United States. Some research predicts that by the year 2040 glaucoma may become the leading cause of functional blindness in the U.S. Glaucoma is actually a family of many different diseases that usually causes an increase in the pressure within the eye, damaging the optic nerve. When pressure inside the eye increases and over time the optic nerve is damaged, blind spots in peripheral areas of vision may occur and eventually begin to affect the central vision. Often called the "sneak thief" of sight, most forms of glaucoma do not produce symptoms until vision is already severely damaged and may take many years to do so. However, if caught early, the disease can usually be controlled and permanent vision loss can be prevented.
The Dean McGee Eye Institute is fully committed to state of the art clinical care of patients with glaucoma. Glaucoma has become a much more complex disease as medical knowledge has advanced and individualized care for patients with the diagnosis has become much more important. Recent research has changed many of the aspects of the diagnosis and treatment of different forms of glaucoma and the staff at the Dean McGee Eye Institute has been a leader in incorporating these beneficial changes into the care of our patients, as well as being a national leader in research, development, and incorporation of these improvements into the management of glaucoma.