Glaucoma is a severe, progressive eye condition that affects millions globally. It occurs due to an increased pressure in the eye called intraocular pressure. The pressure then damages the optic nerve. The elevated intraocular pressure can damage the delicate nerve fibers that compose the optic nerve. As a result, you may experience vision loss or blindness.
Glaucoma consists of two main types. An open-angle glaucoma is the more common form, developing when intraocular pressure increases gradually and causes optic nerve damage. The second form of the disease is angle-closure glaucoma. This rare form occurs when intraocular pressure increases and causes severe and rapid vision loss.
Some people refer to the disease as a silent sight thief because it often does not show symptoms until the optic nerve gets severely damaged. As such, it is vital to detect it early for prompt treatment.
Increased intraocular pressure can cause your cornea to swell and lead to blurry vision. Optic nerve damage can also cause blurry vision. If you start experiencing this, your eye specialist will need to examine you to determine if you have glaucoma.
The gradual loss of peripheral vision is among the early warning signs of glaucoma. It is also called tunnel vision. It describes an individual who can only see straight ahead. While this happens, the sides of their visual field, called peripheral vision, narrow gradually.
The loss of peripheral vision occurs when your optic nerve gets damaged due to increased eye pressure from glaucoma. The optic nerve plays the critical role of carrying information to your brain from your eye.
Another warning sign of glaucoma is experiencing pain in or around your eyes. Increased eye pressure can lead to this pain. You may also have pain in your forehead or temples.
You may have early signs of glaucoma if you start seeing halos around lights, especially during night drives. The increased eye pressure caused by glaucoma causes the swelling of your cornea. The changes distort how light enters your eye and causes the appearance of halos around lights.
Increased eye pressure causes discomfort that can lead to nausea and vomiting. Sometimes, the pressure can be very high that you may start experiencing symptoms such as dizziness and headaches. You can also faint due to the increased pressure.
Another early symptom of glaucoma is struggling to adapt to changes in lighting. Having difficulty moving from a well-lit environment to a dimly lit place or vice versa may mean you have the eye condition. A damaged optic nerve can make it hard for the eye to adjust to light changes. This may cause vision problems.
You may have acute-closure glaucoma if you experience sudden vision loss. It occurs when there is a narrowing between the angle between your cornea and iris. This leads to a rapid increment of eye pressure. You may also experience eye redness and severe pain.
Glaucoma treatment entails protecting your optic nerve from experiencing further damage by reducing intraocular pressure. It may include using eye drops, conventional surgical procedures, or laser surgery to reduce eye pressure by promoting fluid flow within the eye.
For more about glaucoma, visit Reeve Woods Eye Center at our office in Chico, California. Call (530) 317-EYES to book an appointment today.