Eye health is often pushed onto the backburner and not seen as pressing a matter as regular health. Our eyes are extremely important, and are equally as sensitive. They are susceptible to more damage than other parts of our bodies, if not cared for and regularly checked. As you age, checking for eye disease such as early signs of glaucoma is important to your eye health – here are symptoms to look out for.
Glaucoma, unlike other eye diseases isn’t as easy to notice right away. It is a complicated disease in which damage to the optic nerve can result in vision loss. It can be confusing as there are several forms of glaucoma, with the two main forms being POAG – primary open-angle glaucoma and ACG – angle closure glaucoma. POAG is the most concerning, but sneakiest, as there are no symptoms that are noticeable, until considerable vision loss has already occurred.
Detecting POAG is difficult as it develops slowly, and there typically are no signs or symptoms that it is occurring. The majority of people who have open-angle glaucoma feel completely fine and the change in their vision is not noticed, or barely, as it begins in the periphery. One’s visual acuity and sharpness is maintained well, and not compromised until advanced stages in the disease.
Vision loss from glaucoma is unfortunately not reversible, even with intensive treatment and surgery. Seeing as POAG is not detectable early on, consistently having eye examinations is of utmost importance, as the doctor may be able to detect vision loss in your periphery, allowing them to prescribe treatment to protect your vision and prevent it from further deteriorating.
The reason vision is lost when suffering from open-angle glaucoma, is because the eye’s drainage canals become clogged over time, which causes an increase in internal eye pressure and thus, subsequent damage to the optic nerve. This type of glaucoma is the most common form. Those who have a family history of the disease are at higher risk, as are those of African-American or Latino background. Those with diabetes or cardiovascular disease can also be at risk.
ACG has a better chance of being detected as there are noticeable signs and symptoms. Some of these early signs of glaucoma include hazy or blurred vision, the appearance of rainbows around bright lights, severe eye or head pain, nausea or vomiting, and sudden sight loss. ACG is caused by blocked drainage canals in the eye, similar to POAG. These blocked canals cause a sudden rise in intraocular pressure. This form of glaucoma is quite rare, and when detected, it requires immediate medical attention. Unlike POAG where the development of the condition is slow, ACG is fast moving and very risky.
Glaucoma is unfortunately quite common, and sadly, highly dangerous. Recognizing early signs of glaucoma and being diligent in your eye health is vital in ensuring you prevent the condition from developing, or monitor it from becoming untreatable. Contact us for more information and to see a specialist.