Can You Tell If You Have Glaucoma?

Older couple researching Glaucoma

Have you started seeing halos around lights? Is using your peripheral vision becoming more challenging? These are signs that you might have glaucoma.

Glaucoma is a family of eye diseases that affect the optic nerve. You need a healthy optic nerve to have clear vision. Glaucoma damages your optic nerve due to abnormally high eye pressure.

Keep reading to learn more about glaucoma!

Who can develop glaucoma?

Adults aged 60 and up have a higher chance of glaucoma causing blindness. While adults have an increased chance of developing glaucoma, anyone can develop it.

Unlike the effects of cataracts or slow vision loss, glaucoma does not have any obvious warning signs. In most cases, patients with glaucoma don’t realize they have it until it’s too late.

Once glaucoma impacts your vision, it’s irreversible. Getting frequent eye exams is the best way to detect glaucoma early on.

During your eye exam, your eye doctor will measure your eye pressure. They will continue to track your eye pressure to be able to identify any changes.

This information makes diagnosing and treating glaucoma easier. If glaucoma is detected early on, it is possible to slow down or prevent vision loss.

What are the symptoms of glaucoma?

Depending on the stage and type of glaucoma, the symptoms vary.

Open-Angle Glaucoma

As open-angle glaucoma develops, you can have tunnel vision. Also, you may experience unpredictable blind spots in your peripheral and central vision. Typically, patients experience this in both eyes.

Acute Angle-Closure Glaucoma

With acute angle-closure glaucoma, symptoms include severe headaches, eye pain, vomiting, nausea, blurry vision, red eyes, and halos around lights.

If you notice any of these symptoms, please schedule an appointment with your eye doctor. If left untreated, glaucoma will cause blindness as it progresses.

What are the risk factors tied to glaucoma?

You can have glaucoma and still not know that you have it. Some of the risk factors you need to be aware of are:

  • Being 60+
  • Having a diagnosis of certain conditions like high blood pressure, heart disease, sickle cell anemia, and diabetes
  • Having abnormally high eye pressure
  • Having glaucoma in your family history
  • Being extremely nearsighted or farsighted
  • Having corneas that are very thin in the center
  • Experiencing an eye injury or you have had certain types of eye surgery
  • Being Hispanic, Asian or African American
  • Using corticosteroid medication for a very long time

Can you prevent vision loss if you have glaucoma?

To prevent vision loss, there are things you can do. One of the best things that you can do is getting frequent eye exams. Eye exams are the best way to detect glaucoma early on, slow down its development, and prevent further vision loss.

If glaucoma is in your family’s medical history you have a higher chance of developing it. Your eye doctor most likely will recommend a schedule for eye exams to track your eyes.

Also, exercise can reduce eye pressure, which could help prevent glaucoma. If you’re prescribed eye drops, use them as recommended.

Finally, make sure to use eye protection while playing sports or doing activities that could hurt your eyes. Eye injuries can cause glaucoma.

Do you think that you have glaucoma? Schedule an appointment at Mid Ohio Eye in Columbus, OH today! It’s never too late to make your eye health a priority!