Currently, more than 3 million Americans suffer from Glaucoma, and that number is expected to jump to 4.2 million by 2030. The disease, which is caused by damage to the optic nerve, leads to permanent vision loss, so early detection is vital. Here are some Glaucoma warning signs to look for:
1.Hazy, blurred, or blotchy vision
Blurry vision doesn’t always mean it’s time for glasses or an updated prescription. Hazy, blurred, or blotchy vision is a warning sign for several serious eye conditions including cataracts, macular degeneration, and Glaucoma. If you have a hard time focusing your eyes, or if your vision seems consistently “smudged,” be sure to talk to a doctor.
2. Halos around lights
Do you see halos, or rainbow-colored circles around artificial or natural light? If so, don’t ignore them. Seeing a white or colorful haze around light sources is one of glaucoma’s telltale signs, so if you notice a different in your light perception, get to an optometrist right away.
3.Severe Eye Pain, Headache, Nausea, or Vomiting
The most common types of Glaucoma are primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) and angle-closure glaucoma (ACG). Open-angle glaucoma occurs when the drainage canals in your eye, where the iris meets the cornea, become clogged over time, causing an increase in internal eye pressure and subsequent damage to the optic nerve.
Evidence of open-angle glaucoma can mimic migraine symptoms, and include signs like severe pain behind the eyes, nausea, and vomiting. If you experience any of these symptoms, don’t ignore them. Open-angle glaucoma is often called "the sneak thief of sight" because it has no symptoms until significant vision loss has occurred, so get to a doctor as soon as possible.
Yes, vision loss from Glaucoma is irreversible, but that doesn’t mean that additional vision loss can’t be prevented. There are a variety of treatment options including medication, laser surgery, and implants, so if you or someone you know is experiencing any of these symptoms, call your optometrist or family physician right away.