About Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness in the U.S., but early treatment can often prevent severe vision loss. Columbia Ophthalmology at The Harkness Eye Institute is a leader in glaucoma diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and research. We can help manage your glaucoma and treat all forms of glaucoma to ensure that you maintain as much quality vision as possible.


Glaucoma happens when there is increased pressure inside the eye due to fluid blockage. The pressure inside the eye then rises to a level that can damage the optic nerve. When the optic nerve is damaged from increased pressure, it can cause vision loss. Therefore, controlling pressure inside the eye is important.

Risk Factors

Anyone can develop glaucoma, but a person’s risk increases with age. In addition, some people are at higher risk for developing the condition than others. They include:

  • People with a family history of glaucoma
  • African Americans
  • Hispanics
  • Among African Americans, research shows that glaucoma is five times more likely to occur than in Caucasians


Initially, glaucoma has no symptoms. However, as the disease progresses, a person with glaucoma might notice their side vision gradually failing. Objects in front might still be clear, but objects to the side might be missed. Glaucoma can develop in one or both eyes.

Why Choose Columbia?

Columbia ophthalmologists offer innovative and advanced treatment of glaucoma. Our glaucoma care experts are experienced, with the latest knowledge combined with state-of-the-art facilities.