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The First Signs of Glaucoma

Updated: 4 days ago

Glaucoma can develop in unsuspecting ways. Here are some tips on when you should call your doctor with concerns.

Glaucoma is actually a group of eye conditions that damage the optic nerve. Though it can occur at any age, Glaucoma is more common in older adults and is a leading causes of blindness for people over the age of 60.

Many forms of glaucoma have no warning signs, but still, early diagnosis is important. The effects can be so gradual that you may not even notice a change in vision until the condition is in its later stages.

Beauty shot of woman with hands wrapped on face
“I often find that patients who develop glaucoma can easily treat their condition and re-gain the quality of their vision when it is discovered in early stages."

That is why it's important to have regular eye exams that include measurements of your eye pressure. If glaucoma is recognized early, vision loss can be slowed or prevented. If you have glaucoma, you'll need treatment or monitoring for the rest of your life.

What is glaucoma?

The optic nerve sends visual information from your eye to your brain and is vital for good vision. Damage to the optic nerve is often related to high pressure in your eye. But glaucoma can happen even with normal eye pressure.

Glaucoma is a leading cause of vision loss and blindness. It affects millions of people in the U.S. Unfortunately, many living with this condition are unaware they have the disease.

Most types of glaucoma cannot be prevented, but early detection and ongoing monitoring of eye health can reduce or delay vision loss. If you experience and of the following symptoms or if you are due for an eye examination, contact Rivertown Eyecare to schedule an appointment. We are a modern medical facility to diagnose and treat issues such as glaucoma.

Symptoms of Glaucoma That Require Immediate Attention

Loss of peripheral or side vision: This is usually the first sign of glaucoma.

Seeing halos around lights: If you see rainbow-colored circles around lights or are unusually sensitive to light, it could be a sign of glaucoma.

Vision loss: Especially if it happens suddenly.

Redness in the eye: Sometimes accompanied by pain, which may be a sign of injury, infection or acute glaucoma.

Eye that looks hazy: A cloudy-looking cornea is the most common early sign of childhood glaucoma.

Nausea or vomiting: Especially when it accompanies severe eye pain.

Pain in the eye and in the head: This often occurs in angle-closure glaucoma, a type of glaucoma which can develop quickly.

Tunnel vision: You may start to lose vision around the edges of your visual field.

Chart showing the symptoms of Glaucoma

Some visual examples of effects symptoms may have on your vision

Types of Glaucoma and Symptoms

Open-Angle Glaucoma
  • No symptoms in early stages

  • Gradually, patchy blind spots in your side vision. Side vision also is known as peripheral vision

  • In later stages, difficulty seeing things in your central vision

Acute Angle-Closure Glaucoma
  • Severe headache

  • Severe eye pain

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • Blurred vision

  • Halos or colored rings around lights

  • Eye redness

Normal-Tension Glaucoma
  • No symptoms in early stages

  • Gradually, blurred vision

  • In later stages, loss of side vision

Glaucoma in Children
  • A dull or cloudy eye (infants)

  • Increased blinking (infants)

  • Tears without crying (infants)

  • Blurred vision

  • Nearsightedness that gets worse

  • Headache

Pigmentary Glaucoma
  • Halos around lights

  • Blurred vision with exercise

  • Gradual loss of side vision


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