Symptoms of Glaucoma


Many people misunderstand glaucoma and often, they do not know how serious glaucoma is or who can be affected. More than three million people are living with glaucoma in America, 70 percent of whom are 40 years of age and older.

Glaucoma may not show symptoms in the early stages, but it can eventually damage your optic nerve. It usually occurs when a lot of fluid builds up in the front of your eye, accumulating pressure in your eye. The pressure then injures your eye’s optic nerve and this can result in loss of vision or full blindness.


Open-angle glaucoma and angle-closure glaucoma are the most common forms of glaucoma. These have different symptoms.



Open-Angle Glaucoma


This is the most common type of glaucoma and does not have any identifiable symptoms at first. It means that a person can't notice changes in his or her vision instantly because the person only loses side or peripheral vision.


Therefore, by the time you become aware of your loss of vision, the condition is usually rather advanced. The good news is that you can have regular eye checkups to check for any early signs of symptoms.


An eye doctor can detect open-angle glaucoma symptoms such as a gradual loss of side or peripheral vision in both eyes and tunnel vision in the later stages.



Angle-Closure Glaucoma


With angle-closure glaucoma, the fluid pressure inside your eye builds up quickly and covers your eye’s drainage canals. When that happens, your eye loses its ability to drain the fluid the way it should. It is kind of like what happens when a piece of paper towel covers a sink drain.


Therefore, when your eye’s drainage canal gets completely blocked, you suffer an acute attack of angle-closure glaucoma. Acute angle-closure glaucoma is a medical emergency and you must receive immediate treatment to avoid going blind.


The symptoms of acute angle-closure glaucoma include sudden blurry vision, severe pain in the eye, and feeling sick to the stomach. They also include headaches, throwing up, and seeing halos or rainbow-colored rings when your eye is exposed to light.


Also, there is a type of angle-closure glaucoma that is very similar to open-angle glaucoma — chronic angle-closure glaucoma. This type of glaucoma also develops slowly without symptoms, until you begin to lose your peripheral vision.



Other Types of Glaucoma


Other types of glaucoma include:


Normal-tension glaucoma (NTG). In this form of glaucoma, your eye’s optic nerve experiences damage without your eye pressure going beyond the normal range. When you have NTG, you may have symptoms such as migraines and low blood pressure, and your hands and feet may feel cold.


Pigmentary glaucoma. Pigmentary glaucoma causes the pigment to peel off from your eyes, and sometimes, the pigment gathers and blocks your eye’s drainage tracts. Typically, many people do not show symptoms of pigment glaucoma, particularly in the disease’s early stages.


However, when the condition gets worse, you may notice struggle with side vision, just like in open-angle glaucoma. Also, you may experience infrequent episodes of seeing rainbow-rings or blurriness.



Overall, the best way to avoid getting glaucoma is to have your eyes checked frequently. If you suspect you are suffering from glaucoma or have any issues with your eyes, please visit us today at Eye Care North in Cave Creek, Arizona. You can also call us to book an appointment or make any other inquiry at 480-781-4446.

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