Harvard Women's Health Watch

"Narrow angles" a tip-off to eyesight risk

Proper eye care can limit vision loss from most glaucoma — and prevent one of its most serious forms.

Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that cause vision loss and blindness through damage to the optic nerve. Several factors contribute to its development, but the main culprit is elevated intraocular pressure, that is, pressure within the eye.

Theoretically, glaucoma can be managed and vision loss prevented or minimized with early detection and medical treatment to control intraocular pressure. But the most common form, called open-angle glaucoma, progresses so slowly and subtly that symptoms, such as blind spots and reduced peripheral vision, may go unnoticed until the disease has advanced and vision loss is inevitable.

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