Glaucoma refers to a group of eye diseases caused by atrophy of the optic nerve, which can lead to irreversible vision loss. Most forms of glaucoma produce no symptoms until vision loss is so great that it affects the quality of life of the individual. Because glaucoma tends to be silent, it is referred to as "the sneaky thief of sight.” It is estimated that 2.5 million Americans have glaucoma and half are unaware that they have the disease. Approximately 130,000 Americans are currently blind from glaucoma. It is the second most common cause of blindness worldwide. A number of important risk factors for glaucoma have been identified including elevated eye pressure, family history, race and age. Based upon anatomical considerations, glaucoma can be characterized as being “closed-angle” or “open-angle.” This distinction is important because it guides initial therapeutic treatment options. Treatment for glaucoma involves lowering the pressure inside the eye. Options include oral and eye drop medications, laser application to the eye (i.e., peripheral iridotomy, trabeculoplasty) and incisional microsurgery (i.e., trabeculectomy, glaucoma shunt procedures). Ochsner offers the latest available treatments and participates in several research programs. Because glaucoma tends to be chronic and progressive, most individuals with glaucoma require lifelong and regular monitoring of their disease process, which involves intraocular pressure measurements and evaluation of the optic nerve head and visual field status. The physicians in Ochsner's Glaucoma Section specialize in the care of individuals with this chronic vision threatening disease and offer the latest techniques in diagnosis and management. In addition, we are actively engaged in teaching and provide opportunities for patients to participate in important glaucoma research programs.