Are you experiencing eye pain? Do you feel a large amount of pressure on or behind your eye? You may be experiencing glaucoma.
Keep reading to learn more about glaucoma including some of the subtle signs and symptoms of the condition!
What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is an eye condition that occurs when there is damage to the optic nerve. The damage is often caused by a build of pressure on the nerve.
Your optic nerve is vital for good eye health and vision. As the nerve becomes more damaged, your vision becomes affected.
It can come on very gradually so you may not experience any signs of glaucoma until it is in an advanced stage. Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness in patients above the age of sixty.
The pressure buildup that causes glaucoma is caused by a blocked drainage passage. Fluid flows throughout your eye through passageways.
When one of these passageways becomes blocked, the fluid can no longer flow through your eye. This causes pressure to build up at a blocked passageway, and eventually on the optic nerve.
Any vision lost due to glaucoma is irreversible. This is true even if you undergo glaucoma surgery.
This is one reason that eye exams are so critical to keeping your eyes healthy. An eye exam is the only way to detect and diagnose the condition.
Early detection of glaucoma can mean minimal loss of your vision. You may be able to avoid vision loss if glaucoma is caught early enough.
Signs and Symptoms of Glaucoma
There are two main types of glaucoma. Each has its own set of signs, symptoms, and causes.
If you develop a form of glaucoma, you will likely need to undergo surgery, as well as long-term medication treatment. Most glaucoma patients need glaucoma treatment for the rest of their lives.
The most common form of glaucoma is open-angle glaucoma. This occurs when there is a buildup of fluid in the drainage passageway formed by the cornea and iris.
This drainage passageway remains open, but the trabecular meshwork surrounding it becomes blocked. This is a lot like a clogged up mesh strainer you might use to drain pasta when you are cooking.
There are two main symptoms of open-angle glaucoma. The first is partial blindness in your peripheral or central vision.
This is brought on during the early stages of the condition. As the condition worsens, you may experience tunnel vision.
Angle-closure glaucoma also causes blocking of the drainage passageway formed by your cornea and iris. In this condition, the iris swells and blocks the passageway.
This makes fluid back up and also causes pressure to build up around the optic nerve. Angle-closure glaucoma can come on gradually or suddenly. Call your doctor right away if you are experiencing sudden eye pain or vision loss.
Symptoms of angle-closure glaucoma include:
- Severe headaches
- Pain on or around the eye
- Feeling nauseous and vomiting, accompanied by eye pain
- Blurred or blind spots in your vision
- Halos around artificial lights including porch lights, street lights, and headlights
- Red and irritated eyes.
Are you experiencing symptoms of glaucoma? An eye exam is the only way to accurately diagnose and treat the condition.
Schedule an appointment today with Omaha Eye & Laser Institute in Omaha, NE!