Learn These Early Signs of Glaucoma Development
Glaucoma causes damage to the optic nerve, which is the communication conduit between the eyes and the brain. If untreated, glaucoma can cause loss of vision and even total blindness. While there are a few types of conditions under the umbrella of glaucoma, it’s usually caused by fluid that builds up inside the eye, increasing pressure and damaging the nerves. Glaucoma cannot be cured, but early detection can help people prevent long-term damage to their vision. If you or a loved one are experiencing any early signs of glaucoma development, you should contact Baton Rouge Eye Physicians in Baton Rouge, LA to schedule an appointment today.
What is glaucoma?
As we mentioned, there are multiple types of glaucoma, but the most common is open-angle glaucoma. Baton Rouge, LA residents who suspect they may have this common form of the disease should schedule an exam at Baton Rouge Eye Physicians as soon as possible.
Affecting an estimated 90% of people with glaucoma, open-angle glaucoma develops slowly, and its symptoms are rarely noticed. Drainage canals in the eye become clogged over time, which causes fluid and pressure to build up. The name open-angle glaucoma refers to the position of the cornea and iris. This type of glaucoma is so common that it’s often referred to as chronic glaucoma or primary glaucoma.
Angle-closure glaucoma is the other main type of glaucoma. This type has a rapid onset, and its symptoms are usually almost immediately noticeable, including severe headache, blurred vision, and eye redness. Other types of glaucoma include normal-tension, congenital, secondary, pigmentary, and traumatic glaucoma.
Glaucoma risk increases with age, rising the fastest after age 60 and increasing from there. About 8% of Americans over 80 have glaucoma. Black and Hispanic Americans have higher rates than white people across all age groups.
What are the early signs of glaucoma development?
While symptoms are generally similar between many types of glaucoma, open-angle or primary glaucoma develops so slowly that many people don’t realize their vision may be at risk. That’s why learning the early signs of glaucoma can keep your eyes as healthy as possible.
Changes to peripheral vision
With open-angle glaucoma, the most common early symptom that something is wrong is peripheral vision loss. Even slight changes in your peripheral vision could be a signal that you’re at risk of vision loss due to glaucoma.
Eye pain and headaches
While more commonly associated with angle-closure glaucoma, people experiencing frequent eye pain or headaches should consult with an eye doctor. While the pain may have no connection to glaucoma, especially when there is no other reason for the eye pain or headache, this can be an early predictor of glaucoma.
Halos around light sources
Seeing halos around lamps, light bulbs, street lights, and other light sources is a common early sign of glaucoma development. Sensitivity to light is another common symptom of the condition.
Hazy appearance to the eye
People around you may notice changes in how your eye looks. People with glaucoma often have a glassy-eyed or hazy appearance in their eyes. Dilated pupils and eye redness are other signs of glaucoma that may be more apparent to those around you.
Save your vision: Schedule a glaucoma consultation today
Preventing permanent damage to your eyes, including loss of vision, means watching out for signs of glaucoma and other eye health problems. While older people are more prone to glaucoma, other factors, including genetics, high blood pressure, and ethnicity, can all increase your risk of developing glaucoma. The best way for Baton Rouge, LA residents to ensure their eyes remain healthy is to have annual eye exams at Baton Rouge Eye Physicians. If you or a loved one are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, contact our office as soon as possible to schedule an evaluation.