Can Glaucoma Cause Headaches?
Glaucoma is an umbrella term that encompasses a number of different conditions, though they're all grouped together because they cause the same unwanted consequence: damage to the essential optic nerve. Proper functioning and health of the optic nerve are necessary for good vision, and damage caused by glaucoma cannot be reversed. Moreover, it occurs gradually and often with no sign, making this an extra dangerous disorder.
Since it's impossible to undo this harm, the best treatment strategy starts with early detection and diagnosis. So, don't let glaucoma catch you unaware. Contact us at Baton Rouge Eye Physicians to schedule a consultation with our optical experts in Baton Rouge, LA.
What causes glaucoma?
Glaucoma includes a suite of conditions that attack the optic nerve. The optic nerve is a crucial structure of the eye. As light passes through the cornea and the lens, it reaches the retina, which contains the cells that detect light.
This visual input is turned into electrical signals, which travel through the optic nerve and to the brain to produce a coherent picture of what we're seeing. Therefore, anything that hinders these links in the visual chain can lead to loss of vision. And glaucoma almost always does so by causing increased pressure inside the eye, resulting from fluid retention.
This can be due to problems in the trabecular meshwork, which typically facilitates efficient fluid drainage. If so, it's called open-angle glaucoma. Narrow-or-closed-angle glaucoma, however, is the result of drainage troubles caused by the closing of the space between the cornea (the clear outer part of the eye) and the iris (the colored part of the eye.) If left untreated, glaucoma can and does lead to blindness.
Can glaucoma cause headaches? What are the other symptoms?
Glaucoma typically does not present symptoms in its early stages, earning it the nickname "silent thief of sight" due to its gradual, often unnoticeable progression. Once it progresses, it may cause a range of symptoms. These often begin with dimmed vision, migraines, and red eyes. Additionally, patients generally start losing their eyesight, beginning with their peripheral vision, shrinking their visual field as the condition develops further.
If left untreated, the symptoms become more varied or severe, including vomiting, tunnel vision, seeing rainbows around lights, and eye pain. But, again, it's important to remember that glaucoma can emerge and develop silently, with no symptoms. As such, it's vital that you visit our experienced team in Baton Rouge, LA for regular eye exams.
Additionally, if you quickly develop the symptoms of acute angle-closure glaucoma, including a severe headache, eye pain, and blurred vision, it could signal a more urgent problem, in which case it's best to seek ophthalmological care as soon as possible.
Protect and maintain your vision
The best way to protect your vision and eye health from the potential ravages of glaucoma is to be proactive about scheduling ophthalmological check-ups. The earlier we detect and diagnose this condition, the better your outcome is likely to be.
So be sure to get in touch with us as soon as possible to explore your options, secure your eye health, and maintain your ocular wellness at Baton Rouge Eye Physicians in Baton Rouge, LA.