Glaucoma is an eye disease that can occur at any age, but it is most common in older adults. This potentially blinding condition affects the optic nerve, resulting in loss of vision due to damage to the nerve cells. Early diagnosis of glaucoma is key for avoiding its devastating effects—here are some early signs to look out for:
One of the earliest signs of glaucoma is blurred vision or a decline in your ability to focus or see objects clearly. This symptom can occur when the pressure inside your eye builds up. Depending on the area and extent of retina damage, varying degrees of blurriness may be experienced.
Halos Around Lights
Another early sign of glaucoma is seeing halos around lights that you observe in either one or both eyes. Halos appear as a ring-like aura around strong sources of light such as lamps or car headlights. If you experience this symptom and it isn’t caused by refractive errors or cataracts, consult your ophthalmologist immediately for further testing and treatment options.
Intense Eye Pain
Intense pain that radiates across your face and forehead could signal an early stage of glaucoma if accompanied by other vision changes such as decreased peripheral vision and increased sensitivity to light. This type of eye pain can be accompanied by nausea, vomiting, redness and watery discharge from the affected eye(s). Still, without additional evidence these symptoms don’t necessarily point to glaucoma.
Headache and/or Dizziness
Glaucoma causes a constant buildup of pressure inside the eyes due to fluid build-up, which can cause a headache or gradual onset dizziness because it affects blood flow near the optical nerve bundle which connects to other parts of the body including brain tissue. Patients may feel disoriented after spending too much time looking at one object with their eyes, an activity which increases intraocular pressure that produces symptoms similar to those related migraine headaches such as throbbing temples relief once they look away from said object/source.
Itching or burning sensations around their eyes coupled with mild visual disturbances known as “floaters” may indicate changes within their vitreous humor (the gel-like substance found between our lenses). Floaters arise from irregularities within our retinas caused by gas pockets created during glaucomatous episodes – patients should report this symptom immediately together with any stories about blurry patches suddenly appearing before them during periods where irritation occurs (due possibly to tension caused by swollen vessels exerting pressure onto nearby delicate tissues).
Tunnel vision can be experienced when the pressure inside your eye builds up. This symptom causes you to have difficulty seeing objects in your peripheral vision, as if you are looking through a tunnel.
Blind spots in your central field of vision, often referred to as tunnel vision, may be present but go unnoticed for some time. Some people may not notice their narrowing peripheral field until they bump into an object they didn’t notice due to their lack of side vision.
Color Discrimination Loss
Difficulty distinguishing between colors, especially blues and purples can sometimes present before peripheral visual field loss occurs.
Recognizing early signs may help you to get the treatment you need before your vision is affected. If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Any one or combination of these symptoms can occur for any number of reasons, but if you have a medical history or family history of glaucoma, it’s best to seek medical attention before it progresses too far.