Glaucoma and blindness are connected because glaucoma can eventually lead to blindness. A person who has glaucoma normally has a problem with fluid buildup inside the eye, which is often referred to as intraocular pressure. Everyone produces this fluid, called aqueous humor, which should drain out normally in people without glaucoma. People who have glaucoma usually have problems with the drainage systems inside their eyes not working properly. The increased pressure can seriously damage the inner workings of the eye over time and eventually cause a person to lose his or her sight, which is why glaucoma and blindness are related.
There is no known cure for glaucoma, but a person with glaucoma is not necessarily fated to go blind. The disease can be managed effectively enough that a person may never completely lose his or her sight. There are many different types of prescription medication, usually in the form of medicated eyedrops, that a person with glaucoma can use to help keep it from getting worse. Some of these eyedrops aid in increasing the outflow of eye fluid, while others may serve the purpose of protecting the optic nerve, which is the part of the eye that becomes most damaged from glaucoma. The connection between glaucoma and blindness is serious enough that surgery for manual drainage of the eye fluid is occasionally necessary.
One of the primary symptoms of glaucoma is pain behind one or both eyes. This pain may be indicative of fluid buildup in the eyes. A person may also notice his peripheral vision is limited, and he might additionally start seeing halos around all lights he tries to look at directly. Some people also experience nausea or vomiting along with these symptoms. It is not uncommon for a person with glaucoma to believe that she is suffering from migraines because the symptoms tend to be similar, but only an eye doctor can make a firm diagnosis of glaucoma.
A person who is concerned about glaucoma and blindness who suspects he may have the disease should not waste any time in getting to an eye doctor. The chances of preventing blindness when a person has glaucoma are greatly reduced when the disease is caught in its early stages. It is not always possible to completely save the eyesight of a person with advanced glaucoma. The sooner an eye doctor can start treating the glaucoma, the better the chances are that eyesight can be retained.