How Does Glaucoma Take Away My Vision?

Glaucoma is an eye disease that can cause damage to the optic nerve. The optic nerve is what sends the image the eye sees to the brain for processing. Damage to this nerve is often irreparable and can lead to permanent vision loss. Because of this, patients with glaucoma should see an eye doctor regularly.

Glaucoma causes a lot of pressure

The eye is continuously recycling a clear fluid called aqueous humor. Glaucoma typically happens when the drainage channels for aqueous humor are obstructed. This causes an increase in fluid and an increase in pressure inside the eye. This pressure creates tension on the optic nerve, which can lead to damage.

The angle on glaucoma

The downside of glaucoma is that the disease often begins to cause damage without obvious indication of an issue. Glaucoma can affect the eye very slowly or can come on in the blink of an eye. These two types of glaucoma are named based on the effect on the eye’s drainage angle.

Open-angle glaucoma

The most common is known as open-angle glaucoma and typically has no symptoms associated with it. An individual would not even be aware of having open-angle glaucoma until patchy blind spots start to appear. These blind spots can occur either on the edge of vision or in the center. This is one reason why individuals should have yearly eye exams. One open-angle glaucoma symptoms to watch out for is gradual loss of peripheral vision

Angle-closure glaucoma

Angle-closure glaucoma happens when drainage of the aqueous humor is abruptly blocked and can lead to a rapid and painful increase in eye pressure. This type of glaucoma is typically severe, and symptoms appear very suddenly. This type of glaucoma is usually considered emergent and requires fast treatment. Angle-closure glaucoma symptoms to watch out for:

  • Decreased vision or cloudy vision
  • Sudden loss of all or partial vision in the eye
  • Severe headache
  •  Severe pain in or around the eye
  • Eye redness
  • Nausea and vomiting that typically accompanies severe eye pain
  • Seeing rainbows or haloes around lights
  • Excess tearing or watery eyes
  • Seeing spots or ghost-like images
  • Double vision

While these symptoms don’t always point to glaucoma, each one is worth being checked out to discover the cause of the problem.

Prevention is the best path

The best way to prevent issues associated with glaucoma is to know the risk factors that can lead to the disease. Some of the symptoms include age, diabetes, a family history of glaucoma, trauma to the eye, extreme nearsightedness, steroid medications and high blood pressure. The best way to beat glaucoma is to know these risk factors. An individual with any of these risk factors should see an ophthalmologist regularly to keep glaucoma and these uncomfortable symptoms at bay.