How do you recognize the early warning signs of glaucoma?


Quick Answer

Most cases of glaucoma do not present signs or symptoms until severe damage is already done, so individuals should receive regular eye examinations for early detection, according to Mayo Clinic. Adults should begin receiving comprehensive exams every three to four years starting at age 40.

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Full Answer

Symptoms of open-angle glaucoma include gradual loss of peripheral vision and tunnel vision in advanced stages, and acute angle-closure glaucoma may cause eye pain, the sudden onset of visual disturbance in low light conditions, seeing halos around lights, blurred vision and reddening of the eye, as listed by Mayo Clinic. Patients who experience the latter set of symptoms should seek immediate medical care at an ophthalmologist's office or emergency room as this may signal an acute-angle glaucoma attack.

Individuals who have elevated internal eye pressure, a family history of glaucoma, a history of corticosteroid use or a history of eye injury have an increased risk of developing glaucoma, as affirmed by Mayo Clinic. Those of African American and Asian descent and Mexican-American individuals over age 60 are also at greater risk, as are those with certain conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. Individuals over age 40 have a greater chance of developing angle-closure glaucoma. Common treatment options for glaucoma include medicated eye drops, oral medications, laser surgery, drainage implants and filtering surgery.

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