Glaucoma refers to certain eye diseases that affect the optic nerve and cause vision loss. Most, but not all, of these diseases typically produce elevated pressure inside the eye, called intraocular pressure (IOP). Normal IOP is measured in millimeters of mercury and can range from 10-21 mm Hg. An elevated IOP is the most important risk factor for the development of glaucoma. Elevated IOP is sometimes called ocular hypertension . If your doctor diagnoses ocular hypertension , it does not mean you have glaucoma, but it does mean you are at a higher risk for developing the condition, and you should see an ophthalmologist (a medical doctor who specializes in eye care and surgery) frequently.
It is also important to know that if your dog or cat loses vision in both eyes from glaucoma, that it is extremely likely that they will adjust very well to their vision loss, as long as the IOPs are controlled so they do not have a headache and they are comfortable. Remember–glaucoma causes a migraine headache-like pain, and your pet will NOT tell you that it has a headache. Take care of the discomfort in order to give your pet the best possible quality of life. Sadly, some animals with glaucoma have had to have both eyes removed. This is not the end of the world–they adjust very well to their vision loss, especially when they no longer hurt! It is much harder for the owner to accept, but if the owner follows the example of how their pet learns to adapt, they will get through this difficult time of grieving the loss of their pet’s vision. Keep household furniture in its place, and consider purchasing the book “My Dog is Blind but Lives Life to the Full” by Nicole Horsky. Other helpful websites: and