Signs and Symptoms of Glaucoma You Should Never Ignore
January is Glaucoma Awareness Month. Let’s start 2019 off right by taking better care of our eyesight together. Glaucoma is a progressive disease that damages the optic nerve. Primarily, glaucoma is caused by a fluid buildup in the front portion of the eyeball. The fluid cannot drain properly as it should, which leads to a clouding of the lens. From there, you may experience reduced eyesight, a complete lack of vision, and drastic changes to your lifestyle as the disease progresses. As glaucoma worsens, it can lead to irreversible blindness. We must all take steps today to reduce the risk of glaucoma and care for our eyesight year-round.
Early Warning Signs of Glaucoma
Eye diseases, like glaucoma, are the primary reason why medical professionals recommend regular eye exams. You can avoid the further progression of glaucoma by remaining vigilant and watching for the early warning signs of the disease. Should you notice any of the following warning signs, speak with an optometrist promptly.
- Halos around lights – this particular symptom becomes more obvious at night while driving.
- Vision loss in one or both of your eyes – blind spots, decreased sharpness, or reduced peripheral vision.
- Eye pain or pressure – A sharp or dull pain, generalized pressure, or a sinus infection-like feeling in the eyes.
- Cloudiness – You can easily discern cloudiness of the eyes using a mirror.
- Nausea – A common early symptom of glaucoma is nausea with or without vomiting due to reduced vision or pressure in the eyes.
- Chronic redness – Your eyes may appear red and tired for numerous days in a row without signs of improvement.
- Rainbow rings – If you spot multi-colored rings, like light halos, around lights, it may be a sign of glaucoma.
- Headache – A sudden or a severe headache alongside other symptoms should be explored further.
- Sudden eye pain – A sudden or severe eye pain without any warning is a critical warning sign of glaucoma.
While most common in the elderly, glaucoma can happen to anyone. If you suspect glaucoma, any warning signs must be explored further by an optometrist.
Causes of Glaucoma
We have explored the early warning signs and symptoms of glaucoma. Let us explore the causes of glaucoma further, so you are better informed on the subject.
Glaucoma is the direct result of damage to the optic nerve. This nerve will gradually deteriorate, which causes blind spots and cloudiness. The cause of this damage tends to be increased pressure in the eye. The pressure is often caused by a buildup of fluid (aqueous humor) which flows throughout the inside of the eye. The fluid would normally drain through the trabecular meshwork. Due to overproduction or a failing drainage system, the fluid may accumulate and cause the pressure that leads to glaucoma.