Glaucoma is the second most common cause of blindness worldwide. It is associated with structural damage and a progressive loss of nerve cells — which transmit visual information from the retina to the brain — within the optic nerve head (ONH) at the posterior eye. Glaucoma was once thought to occur only in eyes with elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) and, to date, lowering IOP is the only clinical treatment proven to be beneficial for slowing its progression. However, the success rate of such therapy is only about 50% and multiple lines of evidence now indicate that IOP is not the only important risk factor in the disease since glaucoma can develop at either normal or elevated IOP without distinct etiology.

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