The most common types of glaucoma open-angle and angle-closure,have completely different symptoms.
Most people who develop open-angle glaucoma don’t experience any noticeable symptoms at first. That’s why it’s critical to have regular eye exams, so that your eye doctor can detect problems early on.
Most people who have open-angle glaucoma feel fine and do not notice a change in their vision at first because the initial loss of vision is of side or peripheral vision, and the visual acuity or sharpness of vision is maintained until late in the disease.
By the time a patient is aware of vision loss, the disease is usually quite advanced. Vision loss from glaucoma is not reversible with treatment, even with surgery.
Because open-angle glaucoma has few warning signs or symptoms before damage has occurred, it is important to see a doctor for regular eye examinations. If glaucoma is detected during an eye exam, your eye doctor can prescribe a preventative treatment to help protect your vision.
In open-angle glaucoma, the angle in your eye where the iris meets the cornea is as wide and open as it should be, but the eye’s drainage canals become clogged over time, causing an increase in internal eye pressure and subsequent damage to the optic nerve. It is the most common type of glaucoma.
See how the progression of glaucoma may affect your vision.
Acute angle-closure glaucoma is a medical emergency and must be treated immediately or blindness could result in one or two days.
Acute angle-closure glaucoma signs and symptoms include:
This type of glaucoma progresses more slowly and can damage the optic nerve without symptoms, similar to open-angle glaucoma.
Similarly, people with normal-tension glaucoma will not experience any symptoms until they begin to lose peripheral vision.
if you are diagnosed with glaucoma, it is important to set a regular schedule of examinations with your eye doctor to monitor your condition and make sure that your prescribed treatment is effectively maintaining a safe eye pressure.
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Some people have no signs of damage but have higher than normal eye pressure (called ocular hypertension). These patients are considered "glaucoma suspects" and have a higher risk of eventually developing glaucoma. Some people are considered glaucoma suspects even if their eye pressure is normal. For instance, their ophthalmologist may notice something different about their optic nerve. Anyone who is considered a glaucoma suspect should be carefully monitored by their ophthalmologist. An ophthalmologist can check for any changes over time and begin treatment if needed.