What is a glaucoma and what are the symptoms?

Glaucoma is an eye disorder or disease, most associated with damage of the optic nerve. It is often attributed to extreme internal eye pressure (intraocular pressure or IOP).

Glaucoma tends to reduce peripheral vision first. Often the progression and early onset of the glaucoma goes unnoticed. A person may lose a great deal of their vision from glaucoma before they become aware anything is happening. If uncontrolled or left untreated, glaucoma can eventually lead to blindness.

Glaucoma Symptoms

The experience of glaucoma varies but the symptoms most often include a reduced field of view, reduced peripherial vision, blurry vision, halos around lights, intense eye pain, nausea, and vomiting occur suddenly.

example of how glaucoma reduces field of vision view of inside of your eye showing the optic nerve

Different Forms of Glaucoma

Primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG)

People with this condition often don't know they have it. POAG slowly reduces your peripheral vision. By the time it is detected, permanent damage has already been done. This can lead to tunnel vision in which a person can only see objects that are directly in front of them.

Acute Angle-Closure Glaucoma

Angle-closure or narrow angle glaucoma is a condition which causes short term effects that may repeat. Attacks can last for several hours and may include sudden eye pain, headaches, halos around lights, dilated pupils, vision loss, red eyes, nausea. The field of vision is progressively reduced with repeated attacks.

Normal Tension Glaucoma

Also known as normal-pressure, low-tension, or low-pressure glaucoma. Unlike angle closure glaucoma, this condition can happen even when the intraoccular pressure within the eyes is in the normal range. Normal tension glaucoma takes the form of visual field loss. Even today, the causes are not understood. Many eye experts suspect reduced blood flow to the optic nerve causes this condition.

Congenital Glaucoma

This inherited form of glaucoma is present at birth, with 80% of cases diagnosed by age one. These children are born with narrow angles or some other defect in the drainage system of the eye. It's difficult to spot signs of congenital glaucoma, because children are too young to understand what is happening to them. If you notice a cloudy, white, hazy, enlarged or protruding eye in your child, consult your eye doctor. Congenital glaucoma typically occurs more in boys than in girls.

Pigmentary Glaucoma

Caused by pigment deposits from the iris that block eye ducts. This leads to inflamation and leads to damage but it may go undetected. Pain or blurry vision may be felt when exercising.

Secondary Glaucoma

Symptoms of chronic glaucoma following an eye injury could indicate secondary glaucoma, which also may develop with presence of infection, inflammation, a tumor or an enlarged cataract.

Glaucoma Treatment

All treatment programs are generally designed to reduce inflamation and pressure within the eye. Some treatment includes use of medication. Others may include eye surgery. Treatment normally starts with medicated eye drops that are designed to lowering intraoccular pressure.

Learn More About Glaucoma

Learn about glaucoma with our other website and remember to hit BACK to return here.

East Valley Eye Center

2601 W Alameda Ave Ste 204
Burbank, CA 91505
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