What Are Early Signs of Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a collection of eye illnesses that affect your optic nerves. These nerves connect your eyes to the brain. The progression of this disease may lead to blindness if you do not seek treatment. Glaucoma commonly affects people above the age of 40. In special cases, it may appear before this age. For this reason, it is best to be vigilant for early signs of the disease.


Types of Glaucoma


There are many types of glaucoma, the most common being angle-closure and open-angle. They are usually a result of the buildup of pressure inside your eyes. Some forms of glaucoma develop very slowly and may have little to no warning signs. To be on the safe side, it is vital to have regular eye exams. This is particularly important since you cannot recover your vision once you lose it to glaucoma.


Angle-Closure Glaucoma


This type of glaucoma results from the blockage of drainage canals in your eyes. This is what causes the buildup of intraocular pressure. Though not very common, this form of glaucoma develops quickly. It causes a narrowing of the angle between your cornea and iris. The symptoms of this ailment are quite visible and require immediate medical help.


Open-Angle Glaucoma


This form of glaucoma is the most common as it affects up to 90 percent of most patients. It comes from the slow blockage of your eye’s drainage canals. This widens the angle between your iris and cornea, hence the name open-angle glaucoma. It develops slowly and has fewer visible symptoms. Due to its nature, it is best to have periodic eye checkups, especially if you are above 40.


Other Forms of Glaucoma


Other less common forms of glaucoma include:


  • Congenital glaucoma – This affects babies when their eye drainage canals have incomplete or incorrect development

  • Normal-tension glaucoma

  • Pseudoexfoliative glaucoma

  • Neovascular glaucoma

  • Secondary glaucoma

  • Uveitic glaucoma

  • Pigmentary glaucoma


Early Signs of Glaucoma


Symptoms of early-onset glaucoma vary depending on the strain of the disease you are suffering from. The first sign that you have a problem is the loss of side or peripheral vision. If you experience distorted vision when looking at lights, you need to see your doctor. This may present itself in the form of sensitivity to light or seeing halos around them.


Other symptoms include:


  • Redness of the eyes

  • Severe eye pain or headaches

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • Tunnel vision

  • Hazy eyes

  • Sudden loss of vision


Causes of Glaucoma


Healthy eyes continually produce aqueous humor that fills the anterior part of the eye. This liquid drains from your eyes through ducts in your iris and cornea. Any obstruction or blockage of these ducts distorts the normal pressure in the eyes. This causes the buildup of intraocular pressure, which in turn damages the optic nerves in your eyes. This results in you slowly losing your eyesight.


The underlying reason for this buildup of intraocular pressure is still a mystery. However, most doctors blame it on several factors. These include high blood pressure, poor blood flow to your optic nerve, and dilating eye drops. Some forms of medications like corticosteroids may also cause glaucoma.


For more on glaucoma, contact Eye Care Associates in San Bernardino at our office in San Bernardino, California. You can call (909) 316-2100 today to schedule an appointment.

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