Common Glaucoma Symptoms

December 31, 2019 — by Thomas Byrd, MD
Tags: Glaucoma

Tunnel vision experienced by a person with glaucomaEarly detection is crucial when diagnosing and treating glaucoma. If glaucoma is not caught soon enough, it can lead to blindness. This is why Dr. Thomas Byrd stresses the importance of regular eye exams to patients in the Detroit, Dearborn Heights, and Lincoln Park, MI areas.

Many people are unaware of the signs and symptoms of glaucoma. Below, we want to discuss the most common symptoms of the condition. As soon as you notice any warning signs, it’s crucial that you see an eye care specialist as soon as possible for a vision test.

Symptoms Can Differ Based on the Type of Glaucoma

Before getting into the symptoms of the condition, we should note that the symptoms can differ based on the type of glaucoma a person suffers from. We will cover the symptoms of open-angle glaucoma and acute angle-closure glaucoma below.

Briefly, this is what typifies each of these types of glaucoma:

  • Open-Angle Glaucoma - The most common type of glaucoma, open-angle glaucoma means that the angle where the iris meets the cornea is as wide as it would be naturally. Slow clogging of the drainage canals in the eye lead to optic nerve damage.
  • Acute Angle-Closure Glaucoma - A less common type of the condition, acute angle-closure glaucoma involves a narrow angle where the iris and cornea meet. The symptoms can develop suddenly rather than gradually.

Common Symptoms of Open-Angle Glaucoma

The most common symptoms of open-angle glaucoma include:

  • Blind spots in your field of vision
  • Patchy central and/or peripheral vision
  • Tunnel vision (advanced stages of glaucoma)

While these symptoms can affect just one eye, they often affect both of a person’s eyes. Keep in mind that the symptoms of open-angle glaucoma can be difficult to detect, which is why many people who suffer from glaucoma don’t realize it until it is too late.

Common Symptoms of Acute Angle-Closure Glaucoma

The symptoms of angle-closure glaucoma tend to be easier to detect than the symptoms of open-angle glaucoma. These include:

  • Eye pain
  • Red eye
  • Blurry vision
  • Halos around lights
  • Serious headaches
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Risk Factors for Glaucoma

Since glaucoma symptoms can be difficult to notice, it’s important to consider these risk factors for glaucoma.

  • Advanced Age - Glaucoma becomes more likely in ages 60 and beyond, particularly due to the build up of intraocular pressure over time.
  • Ethnicity - Glaucoma is more common in people of African, Asian, and Hispanic descent.
  • Family History - If someone in your family suffered from glaucoma, your risks of developing it yourself are higher.
  • Thin Corneas - People with thin corneas may have high risk of eye pressure issues.
  • Poor Vision - Glaucoma is more common in people who are extremely myopic (nearsighted) or hyperopic (farsighted).
  • Use of Corticosteroid Medications - Glaucoma is more common among people who’ve used corticosteroid medications for long periods of time.
  • Certain Medical Conditions - Glaucoma is common among people who also have diabetes, sickle cell anemia, high blood pressure, and heart disease.
  • Previous Eye Injury or Surgery - Past eye trauma or surgical procedures can increase your risk for glaucoma.

Be Sure to Attend Regular Eye Exams

If you have a high risk of developing glaucoma, it’s important that you attend regular eye exams. You can discuss your issues and concerns with an eye care specialist, which means a greater chance of early detection and treatment.

Learn More About Glaucoma

For more information about glaucoma and how it can be diagnosed and treated, be sure to contact our eye care and vision center. You can reach Byrd Eye Clinic by phone at (313) 383-1300.

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