Recognizing the early signs of glaucoma is vital to avoid permanent damage. Waiting for noticeable symptoms can lead to permanent vision loss, so it’s important to know the warning signs. Know the signs, and seek medical attention at the earliest indication of a problem. With prompt treatment, you can save your vision.
Regular Eye Exams
The more dangerous form of the disease, open-angle glaucoma does not give many warning signs. The best way to prevent permanent damage from this disease is to invest in regular eye exams. People without risk factors should see the doctor for an exam every three to five years. Those at a higher risk should invest in screenings every one to two years.
Peripheral Vision Loss
While vision acuity is maintained into the late stages of open-angle glaucoma, it is normal for people to lose their side vision. If you notice that your side vision isn’t what it used to be, you should visit the eye doctor for an examination as soon as possible.
Your eyes should not hurt on a regular basis. Eye pain should always prompt a call to the optometrist. Headaches accompanying the pain are particularly concerning. The pain can be in the eye or directly behind it. Even if you do not have glaucoma, another condition could be causing the pain so you should make an appointment immediately.
Vomiting can occur along with the visual problems and pain. Some forms of glaucoma can set in rapidly and cause permanent damage, so you should call for an appointment if you start having problems with pain, vomiting or headaches.
Issues with Vision
Bright lights are often difficult to look at, but they should not have halos of colored light around them. Take notice if night driving becomes more difficult due to the extra rings around headlights and streetlights. You may also become more sensitive to lights in general if glaucoma is setting in.
Glare is another warning sign of glaucoma. Glare reduces the brightness differences in your vision and reduces your ability to see contrasts. If you constantly feel like you are looking through a fog or glare, you should call for an appointment immediately. You may also notice a patchy loss of vision or darkened areas.
Some people are at higher risk for glaucoma, and they should see the optometrist more often. If you are over the age of 40, a diabetic or have high blood pressure, you should see the doctor more regularly. Other risk factors include migraines, a family history or glaucoma and being an African-American. Optometrists can test ocular hypertension, and you should plan on seeing the doctor more frequently if yours is elevated.
Glaucoma is a serious condition causing irreversible damage, but it doesn’t have to steal your vision. There are effective treatments that can halt the condition and save your vision. However, they are only effective if the condition is caught early. Learn the warning signs and make an appointment at the first sign of vision problems.