Glaucoma is an eye disease that can cause loss of vision. It is the primary cause of vision loss around the globe, according to the World Health Organization.
Glaucoma happens when pressure builds up in your eye, injuring the optic nerve. The optic nerve sends visual signals to your brain, allowing the brain to make sense of the images you see. While the danger of glaucoma increases with age, anyone can get the illness. This is why it is essential to have a comprehensive eye check-up every year.
Do not let glaucoma take away your ability to see. Visit your eye doctor right away if you notice any one of the following warning signs.
Open-angle glaucoma is the most widespread form of glaucoma, affecting roughly 4 million people in America. The illness has no symptoms or noticeable signs in its initial stages. It advances slowly and often without noticeable loss of vision for several years.
People with open-angle glaucoma feel fine and do not detect changes in their sight at the onset. This is because the initial loss of sight occurs in their peripheral vision. Blind spots grow in the side vision, and before a person notices changes in their vision, the damage can be severe. Blindness from glaucoma cannot be reversed with medication or even surgery.
In this type of glaucoma, the eye’s angle where the cornea meets the iris stays open, as it should. However, the eye’s drainage channels clog gradually and cause pressure inside the eye to increase, which impairs the optic nerve.
You are at a higher risk of open-angle glaucoma if you have a family history of the condition or are Latino or African American. If you have heart disease or diabetes or are over 60 years old, you are at risk.
In closed-angle glaucoma or angle-closure glaucoma, the angle is narrow or closed in several places, resulting in a rise in pressure inside the eye. That pressure injures the optic nerve and leads to potential sight loss.
This increase in pressure may happen unexpectedly (a severe attack of angle-closure) or slowly. The disease typically shows no warning signs before an attack. Some early symptoms of an attack include eye discomfort, halos, minor headaches, and blurry vision. If you experience any of these signs, seek instant care from an eye specialist.
A severe attack of closed-angle glaucoma will have the following signs:
Nausea and vomiting
Redness and severe soreness in the eye
Seeing halos and glare
Acute pain in the forehead
Diminishing vision or blurriness
Although you may not initially notice the signs of a glaucoma attack, your eye pressure may be higher than usual. This condition, called ocular hypertension, puts you at greater risk of getting glaucoma down the road. Similarly, you may be at risk for glaucoma even when your eye pressure is normal. For instance, your eye doctor may detect something amiss with your optic nerve during an eye exam. This is why you need to be carefully examined if you are at risk for glaucoma and even if you are not at risk.
To learn more about the signs of glaucoma & treatment, contact Pinnacle Eye Group of Lambertville in Lambertville, MI at (734) 562-0099.