More than 3 million people in the United States have glaucoma. The National Eye Institute estimates that this number will expand to 4.2 million in 12 years!
Glaucoma is called "the sneak thief of sight" because it has no symptoms and once vision is lost, it's permanent. As much as 40% of vision can be lost without a person noticing. That is why glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness.
Although the most common forms primarily affect the middle-aged and the elderly, glaucoma can affect people of all ages. There is no cure for glaucoma—yet. However, medication or surgery can slow or prevent further vision loss. The appropriate treatment depends upon the type of glaucoma among other factors. Early detection is vital to stopping the progress of the disease.