Glaucoma is often called the silent thief of sight because there are no obvious symptoms with the most common type of the disorder: open-angle glaucoma. Most people do not detect a change in their vision until there has actually been a significant loss of vision. Unfortunately, vision loss from glaucoma is permanent.
Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness. An estimated 3 million Americans have glaucoma but only half know they have the condition.
In most cases, glaucoma can be detected during routine eye exams. Special instruments are used to check the fluid pressures in the eye and a magnifying lens is used to examine the drainage channels for proper fluid outflow.
Symptoms of Later Stage Open-Angle Glaucoma
- Mild headache
- Night vision difficulties
- Blind spots in both eyes
- Tunnel vision
Symptoms of Angle-Closure Glaucoma
With angle-closure glaucoma, there will be a sudden increase in eye pressure. This is a medical emergency because it can destroy vision very quickly. Symptoms may include:
- Blurred vision
- Severe eye pain
- Halos around lights
- Severe headache
Although there is no medical cure for glaucoma, with early detection and treatment, glaucoma can almost always be controlled and vision preserved.
Even if you are not experiencing any vision changes, it is very important to have regular eye exams so your doctor can identify these types of silent eye conditions.