Glaucoma is a disease that damages the small retinal nerve fibers in the back of your eye. The eye produces and recycles aqueous humor, a clear liquid that provides nutrients and immune support to the inside of the eyeball. If aqueous humor is produced in excess or drains away to slowly, the pressure inside the eye increases. The higher eye pressure slowly damages the retina nerve fibers. These fibers degenerate causing the retina to thin and changing the optic nerve appearance. This damage to the retina results in decreasing peripheral vision.
There are a few different forms of glaucoma. The more common types of glaucoma have no warning signs or obvious symptoms in the early stages. As the disease progresses, blind spots develop in your peripheral (side) vision. Most people with glaucoma do not notice any change in their vision until the damage is quite severe. Having regular eye exams can help detect glaucoma before vision loss is significant.