Glaucoma refers to a group of progressive eye conditions that damage the optic nerve, often leading to vision loss and blindness. The scary thing about glaucoma is that it can develop slowly without any symptoms until significant damage has occurred. This is why regular eye checkups are so important, especially as you get older. There are some signs and symptoms to be aware of that may indicate glaucoma. Don't ignore these warnings from your eyes!
One of the most common early symptoms of glaucoma is blind spots in your peripheral or side vision. These blind spots usually develop gradually over time. You may not notice them until they expand and begin affecting your central vision. The loss of peripheral vision is often one of the first signs of the disease.
Some types of glaucoma can cause significant eye pain. There may be severe, sudden-onset pain in one eye, along with redness, tearing, nausea, and sensitivity to light. This acute glaucoma attack demands prompt medical attention to relieve eye pressure and prevent permanent damage. Less acute forms of glaucoma may cause mild discomfort or pain in or around the eyes.
Eye strain due to vision loss can trigger headaches. Recurrent headaches, especially around the temples, can signify glaucoma. The headaches may coincide with bouts of blurred vision.
People with glaucoma may notice rainbow-colored halos radiating from bright lights, like car headlights at night. The halos can indicate increased eye pressure and optic nerve damage. The halos may also fluctuate throughout the day, along with vision clarity.
Besides eye-related symptoms, some people with glaucoma experience nausea and vomiting. This is more common with acute angle-closure glaucoma but can happen with all forms of the disease. Experts think the nausea and vomiting may be from damage to the optic nerve. This damage can affect the retinas and parts of the brain that control balance and orientation. That may be why some people with glaucoma feel nauseous or vomit.
Glaucoma can slowly make your side vision worse. You might not notice the slow vision loss at first. It usually starts on the edges of what you see. Getting regular tests of your side vision from your eye doctor is important. It's the best way to see if your vision is getting worse. Finding glaucoma early is key to stopping losing more of your vision.
Don't just think vision problems are due to getting older. Be attentive to your eye health, and immediately discuss any symptoms with your doctor. Early detection and treatment are essential to controlling glaucoma and saving your sight. The six symptoms outlined here are key warning signs your eyes send. Take steps to guard your eyesight for many more years.