Glaucoma is a progressive disease that causes damage to your optic nerve. The primary cause of the damage is fluid buildup in the front part of the eyeball. The buildup occurs because the fluid cannot drain as it should.
Glaucoma can cause irreversible blindness. Although there is no cure for glaucoma and no cure for blindness, there are ways to help prevent the progression of glaucoma. With a simple, non-invasive test at our office, we can determine if you have glaucoma well before blindness occurs. If you avoid eye doctor appointments or avoid taking the simple glaucoma test, you risk developing this disease to a point where you could suffer partial or total blindness for the remainder of your life.
What are the Early Warning Signs of Glaucoma
In addition to regular eye checkups, you can avoid the progression of glaucoma by being vigilant about noticing early warning signs of glaucoma. If you notice any or all of the following symptoms, you should see our optometrists without delay.
1. Seeing halos around lights- This symptom may be most obvious during nighttime driving, when a halo may appear around streetlights or oncoming headlights.
2. Vision loss in one or both eyes – If you have a blind spot in your field of vision, or notice a decrease in sharpness of vision, it’s time to be tested for glaucoma. Another form of vision loss common with glaucoma is a reduction of peripheral vision.
3. Eye pain or pressure – Pain may be sharp or dull, or there may be a generalized feeling of pressure akin to what you feel during a sinus infection, but in the eye.
4. Cloudy looking eyes or whites of the eyes – This is easily discernible in a mirror.
5. Nausea with or without vomiting – It’s common to experience this symptom in addition to one or more of the others mentioned.
6. Chronic redness – Are your eyes red and tired looking for many days in a row? This is one of the early warning signs of glaucoma and should be looked into by your eye doctor.
7. Seeing rainbow rings around lights – Seeing multi-colored rings around lights is a sign that glaucoma might be present.
8. A severe and sudden headache – If you experience this along with one or more of the other symptoms noted, get treated immediately.
9. Sudden and severe eye pain out of the blue – This is a critical warning sign of an acute attack of glaucoma, and requires emergency treatment.
Glaucoma can happen to anyone, although it frequently attacks older patients due to increased risk as people age. It’s important to realize that everyone can get this disease and that early detection offers the best chances of avoiding blindness. The glaucoma test is part of a routine eye exam and is non-invasive. For more information about the glaucoma test and how to set up an appointment, please contact Acworth Family Eyecare today.