Now accepting Telehealth appointments. Schedule a virtual visit.

5 Telltale Symptoms of Glaucoma

5 Telltale Symptoms of Glaucoma

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, about 3 million women and men in the United States have glaucoma, but only half of them are aware of it. Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that damage or destroy your optic nerve, often due to excess pressure within the eyeball. Glaucoma can start at any age, but it often affects older adults.

Glaucoma worsens over time if it isn’t treated, which is why screening for glaucoma is imperative for preserving your eye health, particularly as you age. Glaucoma comes in several types, not all of which involve pressure buildup in the eye:

No matter what type of glaucoma you have, you may not notice that your vision is under threat until it’s too late. Once you lose your vision, it can’t be restored.

Expert ophthalmologist John Ghobrial, MD, screens for, diagnoses, and treats glaucoma at Eye Associates of Monmouth in Colts Neck, New Jersey. In addition to your annual screening, prevention involves paying attention to changes in your eyes and vision that could indicate you have glaucoma.

Watch for these five signs:

1. Diminished peripheral vision

Every time you come in for an eye exam, Dr. Ghobrial checks the extent of your peripheral vision. Peripheral vision is being able to see objects or movement at the sides of your head or on the bridge of your nose, even when you’re looking straight ahead.

As with many symptoms of glaucoma, loss of peripheral vision can be so gradual that you don't notice it. However, if you’re frequently surprised by people or objects appearing in front of you or if you must turn your head frequently to know what’s happening around you, you may be losing your peripheral vision.

Peripheral vision loss usually occurs first. Without treatment, blindness extends to your central vision, too.

2. Vision changes

Stay alert to other changes in your vision. Some signs that you may have glaucoma that affects your central vision include:

Once you start to lose vision with glaucoma, it can’t be restored. However, when you seek treatment, we can slow the progression to prevent further vision loss. 

3. Eye pain or redness

Many different conditions can cause you to have red eyes, including glaucoma. If one of your eyes is consistently red, or if you feel pain in one or both eyes, be sure to get an accurate diagnosis.

Eye pain could be a sign of acute closed-angle glaucoma, which can cause rapid-onset blindness if you don’t get treatment. Symptoms of this condition include:

If you have symptoms of acute closed-angle glaucoma, get to the emergency room right away. Without treatment, you could permanently lose your vision.

4. Dizziness and nausea

When your eyes don’t function well, it can throw off other organs and systems as well, including your brain and your inner ear. Eyes that send confusing information to your brain may make you feel dizzy and nauseated. 

If you have vision changes accompanied by nausea or vomiting, get to the nearest emergency room. You may have acute closed-angle glaucoma, which can cause blindness without immediate treatment.

5. Eye changes in infants

Although it’s rarer, infants and children can also develop glaucoma. Certain ethnicities — such as African, Asian, and Hispanic — are more at risk. Be sure to let us know if your baby or child:

As with adults, you should always seek a diagnosis when you notice changes to children’s vision, headaches, nausea, and vomiting. The sooner treatment starts, the more vision can be preserved.

Get your eyes checked for glaucoma by scheduling an eye exam with us today. Contact our friendly team by phone, or book an appointment online.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Do You Have These Symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy?

Diabetic retinopathy is a subtle disease that often has no symptoms at first, yet it can threaten your vision. If you have diabetes, a regular eye exam helps keep your eyes healthy. In between appointments, be on the lookout for these symptoms.

Do I Really Have to Wear Sunglasses?

Sunglasses can make you look glamorous and cool, but perhaps you keep misplacing yours or you sometimes don’t like the hassle of wearing them. Are sunglasses important for vision protection, or are they just a fashion statement? Find out here.

How Lasers Are Changing the Eye Treatment Game

When you notice changes in your vision, you may be worried if you think you’ll need eye surgery. But surgery today often relies on high-tech lasers rather than scalpels. Lasers are faster, more precise, and have a reduced risk for complications.

What Most Don't Realize About Astigmatism

When your eye doctor tells you that you have astigmatism, all you know is that it’s somehow related to blurriness, like being farsighted or nearsighted. But astigmatism is more than nearsightedness or farsightedness. Here’s what you should know.

Things You Can Do Today to Support Your Eye Health

Did you know that keeping your eyes healthy may start with your mouth? For example, the foods you eat can affect your eyesight and preserve your vision over your lifetime — or have the opposite effect. Learn how you can take care of your eyes here.

How Diabetes Can Take a Toll on Your Eye Health

When you first learn that you have diabetes, probably the last thing on your mind is eye health. But higher than normal levels of blood glucose endanger your eyes and can even permanently rob you of vision. Here’s how to keep your eyes safe.