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Understanding Glaucoma Symptoms: Signs of Silent Vision Loss

Gina Walters


glaucoma symptoms

Glaucoma is a set of eye diseases that may cause vision problems due to high Intraocular Pressure (IOP). 

However, many people are curious and want to know about the symptoms of Glaucoma.

The Glaucoma symptoms depend on the type of Glaucoma. As the disease grows, many symptoms become more noticeable.

Let us explore the different types of Glaucoma and their symptoms to understand the problem better.

Glaucoma types and their symptoms

There are two categories of Glaucoma– primary and secondary.

Open-Angle Glaucoma and Closed-Angle Glaucoma are the two most common types of Glaucoma and fall under the primary category.

On the other hand, the other types of Glaucoma, like Congenital Glaucoma, Exfoliative Glaucoma, and more, fall into the secondary category.

Let us explore the symptoms of different types of Glaucoma.

Open Angle Glaucoma symptoms

Open-Angle Glaucoma is the most common type of Glaucoma.

The condition normally develops slowly and has no noticeable symptoms in its early stages. 

However, one may experience the following symptoms as the condition progresses:

  • Peripheral vision loss (Tunnel vision)
  • Blurred vision
  • Halos around lights
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Closed Angle Glaucoma symptoms

HeadacheSource: gettyimages
Headache (symptom of Closed-Angle Glaucoma)

Closed-Angle Glaucoma is a very sudden condition that may lead to fast vision loss.

It quickly increases the IOP by blocking the eye’s drainage angle. 

Closed Angle Glaucoma is also known as Acute Angle Closure Glaucoma or Narrow Angle Glaucoma. 

The symptoms of Closed-Angle Glaucoma include:

Closed-Angle Glaucoma is a serious condition and requires immediate medical attention.

Secondary Glaucoma symptoms

Secondary Glaucoma can be caused by several underlying eye conditions like eye injury, surgery, or medications. 

Each type of Secondary Glaucoma is a variant of either Open Angle or Closed Angle Glaucoma.

Therefore, the common symptoms of Secondary Glaucoma are just a mix of primary category symptoms like eye pain, blurred vision, and more. 

Normal Tension Glaucoma, Congenital Glaucoma, and more fall under the Secondary Glaucoma category.

Do not smoke, as smoking may increase one’s risk of Glaucoma.

Early-stage Glaucoma eyes

The early stages of Glaucoma often cause subtle eye changes that are only noticeable after a comprehensive eye examination. 

Consult a doctor for a Glaucoma test to get a proper diagnosis. 

Some signs of early-stage Glaucoma that the doctors look for during routine eye exams are:

  • High Intraocular Pressure (IOP): One’s IOP may be higher than normal in early-stage Glaucoma. 
  • Optic nerve changes: One may notice small changes in the optic nerve, like the thinning of the nerve fibers.
  • Vision or eye problems: People may notice small problems with their vision or eyes.
  • No noticeable symptoms: Some patients may not notice any problem with their eyes, like eye pain, redness, or vision changes. Therefore, regular eye exams are important to detect the condition early.

Always get regular eye tests done, as detecting and managing Glaucoma in its early stages may help stop the vision loss.

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Key takeaways

Glaucoma is a set of eye diseases that may cause vision problems due to high Intraocular Pressure.

However, the Glaucoma symptoms depend on the type of Glaucoma.

The symptoms of Open-Angle Glaucoma are not noticeable in the early stage and include tunnel vision, blurred vision, and more.

On the other hand, Closed-Angle Glaucoma has more sudden and serious symptoms like red eye, eye pain, headache, and more. 

Understanding the symptoms of a problem may help in its effective treatment. 

Frequently Asked Question

What is the first sign of Glaucoma?

The first sign of Glaucoma is the slow loss of peripheral vision. However, some people may only notice the vision problem once the disease grows. Regular eye tests are important for early detection of Glaucoma. 

What is the most common cause of Glaucoma?

The most common cause of Glaucoma is increased Intraocular Pressure (IOP). Intraocular Pressure refers to the eye fluid pressure in the eyes. The high eye pressure can damage the optic nerve and may even lead to vision loss.

What is normal eye pressure?

The normal Intraocular Pressure is 10-21 mm Hg. The pressure may even exceed up to 70 mm Hg in some Glaucomas.

Can drinking coffee cause Glaucoma?

Yes, drinking excessive coffee may lead to the problem of Glaucoma. A study states that people who drink 3 or more cups of daily caffeinated coffee have a higher risk of developing Glaucoma. Excessive caffeine intake can increase Intraocular Pressure (IOP) temporarily. 

What are the treatment options for Glaucoma?

The Glaucoma treatment options include medicines, laser therapy, and surgery. The medicines include Glaucoma eye drops and oral medicines that may help with high eye fluid pressure. 

However, doctors may prescribe laser therapy and surgery when the medicines are ineffective.

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