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Glaucoma
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Glaucoma

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Symptoms of Glaucoma

 

boys_blur.gif (20596 bytes) Most people who have glaucoma don't notice any symptoms until they begin to lose some vision.

As optic nerve fibers are damaged by glaucoma, small blind spots may begin to develop, usually in the side -- or peripheral -- vision. The top photo at left shows how a scene would be viewed by a person with normal vision. The bottom image shows the same scene as viewed by a person with glaucoma. Many people don't notice the blind spots until significant optic nerve damage has already occurred. If the entire nerve is destroyed, blindness results.

One type of glaucoma, acute angle-closure glaucoma, does produce noticeable symptoms. In angle-closure glaucoma, there is a rapid buildup of pressure in the eye (intraocular pressure, known as IOP), which may cause any of the following:

  • blurred vision
  • severe eye pain
  • headache
  • haloes (which may appear as rainbows) around lights
  • nausea and vomiting

Angle-closure glaucoma is a rare, but serious, form of the disease. If you have any of these symptoms, call your ophthalmologist immediately. Unless treated quickly, blindness can result.