What are glaucoma symptoms?
In general, glaucoma initially has no symptoms. Pressure in the eye builds up gradually, and at some point, the optic nerve is damaged and peripheral vision is lost. Sometimes people with later stages of glaucoma may bump into doorways or not see a car in a passing lane because their side vision is significantly affected. Because there are no obvious glaucoma symptoms until the optic nerve is damaged and side (peripheral) vision is lost, it’s important to get annual, comprehensive eye exams to help detect signs of the disease.
Acute glaucoma symptoms can include:
- Eye pain
- Nausea and vomiting (accompanying severe eye pain)
- Sudden onset of visual disturbance, often in low light
- Blurred vision or vision loss
- Halos around lights
- Reddening of the eye
Unfortunately, by the time you notice glaucoma symptoms, they may be severe and are likely irreversible.
Am I at risk for glaucoma?
Some potential risk factors for glaucoma include:
- High myopia (very severe nearsightedness)
- Previous eye surgery or injury
- High blood pressure
- Use of corticosteroids (e.g. eye drops, pills, inhalers and creams)
You may be at higher risk for glaucoma if you:
- Have high eye pressure
- Have a family history of glaucoma
- Are 40 and older, and African American
- Are 60 and older, especially Mexican Americans
- Have a thin cornea
Early detection through regular eye exams, is the key to protecting your vision from damage caused by glaucoma.