What is glaucoma, and how does it affect the eye?

Glaucoma is a disease that causes progressive and irreversible damage to the optic nerve, the ‘cable’ that transmits information from the retina to the visual portion of the brain. Increased pressure within the eye is a strong risk factor for glaucoma; however, blood flow and genetics (family history) are also important. Optic nerve damage results in peripheral (side) vision loss that is irreversible, and can dramatically impact quality of life.