Glaucoma is a disease that slowly and painlessly destroys the optic nerve resulting in blindness if not detected early. It is called the “silent thief of sight”, and is the second leading cause of blindness in the United States. With early diagnosis and treatment the progression of the disease can be slowed to prevent total vision loss in many cases. The cause of glaucoma is unknown. There are several factors that increase risk of developing the disease that include: elevated eye pressure (called intraocular pressure or IOP), age, African-American or Hispanic ancestry, and having a family history of glaucoma. We encourage anyone with these risk factors to have regular eye examinations. If you are diagnosed with glaucoma, it is important to understand that the damage caused by this silent disease cannot be reversed, however; there are several treatments available to preserve the vision you do have. These treatments include eye drops, laser therapy and surgery. Here at the Eye Center of Natchez, Inc., L. Douglas Smith, M.D. specializes in Glaucoma treatment and maintenance. With years of glaucoma treatment experience and state of the art diagnostic equipment, he will help develop the best treatment plan to manage your glaucoma and reduce risk of further vision loss.