The most common type of glaucoma develops gradually and painlessly, without symptoms.
Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in the U.S. It most often occurs in people over age 40. People with a family history of glaucoma, African-Americans, and those who are very nearsighted or diabetic are at a higher risk of developing the disease.
Glaucoma cannot be prevented, but if diagnosed and treated early, it can be controlled. Vision lost to glaucoma cannot be restored. That is why the American Optometric Association recommends annual eye examinations for people at risk for glaucoma (your doctor may, depending on your condition, recommend more frequent examinations).