No one wants to miss out on seeing the world around them by experiencing blindness. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness. It causes damage to the optic nerve, thus gradually worsening vision.
What are the signs and symptoms?
There are many types of glaucoma, a few of which include the more common open-angle glaucoma and closed angle glaucoma, as well as the less common congenital glaucoma (often referred to as childhood glaucoma). Because glaucoma is hereditary, you are also at an increased risk if there is a history of the disease in your family.
Most people with open-angle glaucoma don’t initially notice a shift in their vision. In the beginning, the vision loss takes place in the peripheral field. Many people compensate for the loss by turning their head without noticing that they have been losing vision. Oftentimes, by the time a patient notices the vision loss, the disease has progressed quite far.
With closed-angle glaucoma, patients will experience sudden vision loss, blurred vision, or see rainbow-colored circles surrounding bright lights. Patients may also experience nausea, vomiting, or acute pain in their eyes and head. The symptoms of closed-angle glaucoma appear more rapidly than in open-angle glaucoma. Damage to the eye can occur quickly and requires immediate medical attention.
The signs of congenital glaucoma often differ and tend to be more gradual. Symptoms can include sensitivity to light, loss of vision, and an enlarged eye and cornea. For more information about the effects and treatment of congenital glaucoma, view this helpful resource published by the Glaucoma Research Foundation.
How I can treat it?
Your treatment will vary according to the type of glaucoma you have. There are a variety of medications designed to help, as well as laser surgeries. Having laser surgery may reduce the amount of medication you need. Depending on the severity of glaucoma, some patients may need multiple surgeries to help.
If you are experiencing any of the signs and symptoms of glaucoma, it’s important to seek medical care immediately! Early detection is key to saving your vision. If you think you may have glaucoma, give us a call or come in to see us right away!