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Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a condition where the optic nerve, which connects the eye and brain, becomes damaged. The optic nerve consists of more than one million nerve fibers that send signals from your retina (light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye) to the part of the brain that interprets them. Glaucoma can cause blind spots and vision loss. However, treatment can reduce symptoms and help you maintain your eyesight.

Most damage done by glaucoma is related to high fluid pressure in the eye (ocular hypertension). Types of glaucoma include:

  • Open-angle glaucoma. In this condition, aqueous humor (a clear fluid that normally flows in and out of the eye) does not flow out of the eye properly.
  • Angle-closure glaucoma. In this type of glaucoma, the iris (colored disk at the front of the eye) blocks drainage, causing a sudden rise in pressure within the eye. This condition can be painful and is a medical emergency.
  • Normal-tension glaucoma. It is possible to have progressive damage to the optic nerve even when pressure in the eye is normal. The reasons for this condition are not well understood.
  • Congenital glaucoma. This rare condition appears in infants and toddlers. Prompt treatment often allows children to avoid vision problems.

In open-angle glaucoma, the most common form of the condition, symptoms such as blank spots in your vision develop so slowly that you may not notice them at first. Regular eye examinations are key to the early detection of glaucoma.

We treat glaucoma with the goal of preventing vision loss. Most people who have glaucoma are able to maintain their eyesight with proper therapy despite the fact that the condition cannot be cured. The ophthalmologists at Indiana University Health will develop an individual treatment plan with you that accounts for your needs, concerns and preferences.

Prompt detection of glaucoma is crucial to an excellent outcome because vision that has been lost to this condition cannot be restored. Regular eye examinations are the best way to diagnose glaucoma early. It is crucial to follow your glaucoma treatment plan carefully to keep the condition from progressing.

We use the most advanced approaches and equipment to address glaucoma. The Eugene and Marilyn Glick Eye Institute is part of the Department of Ophthalmology at the Indiana University School of Medicine, providing our ophthalmologists access to the latest knowledge and technology for managing glaucoma. We are also leaders in glaucoma research, operating the Glaucoma Research and Diagnostic Center and investigating what causes the disease and how it can be more effectively treated.

How We Can Help

How We Can Help

Glaucoma Treatment Information

We provide a variety of treatment options for glaucoma depending on the stage of your disease and your specific needs. Options include:


Glaucoma Locations & Physicians

Use the search options below to find treatments available in your area. 

Find a Specialist

Enter a Zip Code to find a specialist at IU Health.


Glaucoma Support Services

More information on glaucoma is available from these organizations: