Are There Glaucoma Symptoms?

Have you or someone you loved recently found out you have glaucoma? This eye condition can be quite frightening because it can cause total and permanent vision loss without showing any symptoms.

It develops slowly over time without impacting your eyesight or causing other symptoms. Most people who find out they have glaucoma don’t realize it until they’ve already experienced permanent vision loss. 

Keep reading to learn more about glaucoma and find out if it has any symptoms you can pay attention to!

What is Glaucoma? 

Glaucoma is a condition that causes eye pressure or intraocular pressure (IOP) to rise. It causes IOP to increase so much that it damages your optic nerve, which results in vision loss.

Your retina receives light entering your eye and converts that light into nerve impulses. These signals get sent down your optic nerve to your brain, which interprets the signals and produces the images you see.

Light cannot reach your brain without a functioning optic nerve, and you can’t see. Raised IOP can press on and damage your optic nerve.

Optic nerve damage is irreparable. Once it occurs, there is no way to fix it, resulting in permanent vision loss.

There are a few different types of glaucoma, and each has its own set of symptoms and side effects. The most common form of glaucoma is primary open-angle glaucoma or POAG.

Primary open-angle glaucoma causes IOP to rise slowly over a long time without causing any symptoms. Then, once your IOP is high enough, it presses on your optic nerve, which can result in optic nerve damage.

 At this point, you have permanent optic nerve damage and potentially permanent vision loss as a result. The other much less common but well-known type of glaucoma is angle-closure glaucoma. 

Angle-closure glaucoma causes symptoms like headaches, nausea, and tunnel vision. But, these symptoms appear as IOP damaging your optic nerve. 

Angle-closure glaucoma is a medical emergency, and if you suddenly experience these symptoms seek immediate medical attention. Without proper intervention, both types of glaucoma can cause complete vision loss.

Can You Prevent Glaucoma?

There is no way to prevent glaucoma. You can’t restore your vision if you’ve experienced vision loss due to glaucoma. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t prevent vision loss.

If you know you have glaucoma, treatment options can help you keep your IOP at healthy levels. Medications, eyedrops, and various surgeries can ensure your IOP stays low. 

Even if you have glaucoma but are following an effective treatment protocol, you can maintain your eyesight indefinitely. But, the only way to get this vision-saving treatment is with a glaucoma diagnosis.

That’s why the only way to know you have glaucoma is to receive a diagnosis from your eye doctor. Seeing your eye doctor for frequent eye exams is your best defense against this eye condition. 

Glaucoma can develop for months or years without experiencing any symptoms or vision loss. But, your eye doctor can detect glaucoma long before it begins to affect your eyesight. 

They can notice if your IOP has changed or your optic nerve has gotten damaged by seeing them regularly. If they notice either, they can begin treatment for glaucoma immediately. Early treatment like this could save your vision.

Seeing your eye doctor is vital if you want to prevent glaucoma from stealing your eyesight. Contact us now to schedule an appointment at Mid Ohio Eye in Columbus, OH, to keep your eyes safe!