Symptoms of Glaucoma
Glaucoma, sometimes called “open-angle glaucoma,” is a medical disease that damages your iris or the transparent covering of the eye. The iris is essential to the process of receiving light and processing visual information. The optic nerve provides visual information to the brain in your eyes from your eyes.
If glaucoma develops, damage to the iris can impair your vision. In most cases, glaucoma generally is, but not necessarily, the result of unusually high pressure within your eye. You can help prevent glaucoma and even reverse it if you catch it in the earliest stages possible.
However, you cannot cure glaucoma, and even treatment may not eliminate symptoms. Thus, it is important to treat glaucoma through an effective and timely eye care routine, especially if you are at risk of developing serious glaucoma.
Your doctor will consider many things, such as
- Your age
- Lifestyle factors, and
- Family history.
He or she will also consider whether you are experiencing any symptoms of eye problems, such as pressure within the eye, redness, sensitivity to light or any other unusual vision changes.
Doctors look for the signs of glaucoma, which include
- Raised intraocular pressure, or IOP, with normal vision loss
- Increased pressure in your eye can result in any of the following: impaired vision, blurred vision, glare, myopia (nearsightedness), hypermetropia (over-sighting), astigmatism and hypertrichosis (hairspray dermatitis).
Some individuals experience only one or two of these symptoms. But for others, all four of these symptoms could be present.
The leading cause of glaucoma and the only way to prevent the disease is to avoid any lifestyle factors that put you at risk for glaucoma. As the leading cause of vision loss, glaucoma can affect anyone. However, people who have a family history of the disease are much more likely to develop it. People who smoke and those who drink heavily are also at higher risk.
Glaucoma patients should know their risks, and understand what to do if they are diagnosed with this condition
If you have high intraocular pressure, your doctor may recommend that you undergo eye drops that lower the pressure in the eye, or that you receive intraocular pressure stimulation or AIPS. These treatments aim to increase the drainage of pressure from the eye, in addition to medication.
Other treatment options your doctor may suggest include laser surgery, or drainage through a catheter. However, if the IOP goes too high, you may not be able to opt for any of these treatment options and will have to opt for surgery to correct your IOP.
However, if your IOP is too low, the optic nerve is damaged, or your eye’s drainage does not improve the vision, you will need to opt for surgery. Two types of glaucoma commonly exist. Either iris-type glaucoma causes increased pressure inside the eye, or thrombophlebitis, which affects the blood supply to the eye. If the increased pressure within the eye causes damage to the optic nerve, or if the optic nerve is damaged, then you may need to opt for eye surgery to correct your vision.
If you’re diagnosed with glaucoma, you will undergo a routine eye examination first
During this time your doctor will check for any problems such as refractive errors, visual field tests (VFT), and the results of tests such as ophthalmological Sinusoscopy and cranial CT scan. Once your visual field test and the results of your ophthalmological Sinusoscopy are positive, your doctor will likely schedule an overnight visit to perform a more comprehensive exam. During this time your doctor will either begin drainage or begin treatment.
Glaucoma patients can expect either temporary or permanent vision loss, depending on how severe their symptoms are. Temporary symptoms of glaucoma include redness, blurred vision, increased sensitivity to light, and headache. These symptoms generally subside over time.
However, if you experience frequent redness, blurred vision, increased sensitivity to light, headaches, or decreased vision after the onset of symptoms, you may have glaucoma and will require immediate treatment. Permanent damage to the eye, caused by glaucoma, generally occurs over time.
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