Glaucoma causes progressive and permanent vision loss due to a buildup of fluid pressure in the eyeball. The disease presents itself in two common forms – primary open-angle glaucoma and angle-closure glaucoma. Unfortunately, both have their own unique and subtle set of symptoms of glaucoma, in which the unaffected eye offsets the vision loss in the affected eye.
Primary open-angle glaucoma – the most common type – begins at the peripheral working inward to disable central vision and leading to tunnel vision. Acute angle-closure glaucoma causes blurred vision with halo effects around eyes. Both types cause irreversible and gradual damage of the optic nerve. The slow decline of sight often means the condition isn’t diagnosed until the advanced stage.
You can prevent glaucoma with regular optical exams – including a visual field test – and also by remaining watchful of these eight subtle warning signs.
- Pain in the Eye: The beginning of sudden eye pain and headaches behind the eyes and brow are primary signs of late stage acute angle-closure glaucoma. The term “acute” refers to the sudden and irreversible damage to the optic nerve. If you experience eye pain, seek treatment immediately to prevent more severe vision loss and even blindness.
- Changes to the Eyeball: It’s challenging to see the damage of glaucoma with the naked eye. However, patients with acute angle-closure glaucoma typically have red eyeballs with large pupils that don’t react to light. The cornea may also appear slightly cloudy and swollen.
3. Night Halos: Acute angle-closure glaucoma often causes a colored rainbow affect or night vision issues such as halos or starbursts and blurred vision around lights. This can be a problem for drivers with glaucoma who feel extreme pressure and sudden blindness as the pupil opens, especially at night or in low-lit environments.
4. Tunnel Vision: Primary open-angle glaucoma typically presents with a slow narrowing of the patient’s peripheral vision causing tunnel vision and interrupting the edges of the field of view in both eyes. Many glaucoma patients don’t realize there’s an issue until their sight is limited to what’s directly in front of them in the advanced stages of the disease.
- Blurred Vision: Acute angle-closure glaucoma causes a gradual decline in sharpness of vision. Severe blurring isn’t evident until the latter stages of the disease. Tragically, often by that time, significant vision damage is irreversible, even with surgery.
6. Swelling and Redness of the Eyes: Acute angle-closure glaucoma shows few signs. However, red eye and headaches may indicate swollen irises due to eye pressure build-up. By the time the eyes become visibly red and swollen, immediate emergency treatment will be necessary. Eye redness can also occur from the chronic use of eye drops.
7. Nausea: Nausea and vomiting often result when vision is distorted. However, acute angle-closure causes nausea and vomiting along with severe eye pain, which slightly distinguishes symptoms from the stomach flu or other gastro-intestinal ailments.
8. Sudden Visual Disturbance: Unfortunately, sudden visual disturbance in one or both eyes can signal several eye problems—including retinal damage. However, the sudden onset of visual disturbance in low lighting is more typical to acute angle-closure glaucoma.
If you would like a to know more about the symptoms of glaucoma or if you are interested in learning more about homeopathic or alternative treatments, visit our website today at www.HealingTheEye.com and then contact us to find out how we can work together.