(956) 661-U-SEE | 661-8733
Mar 11
Tagged with: Glaucoma

man wiping his eye with a handkerchief Glaucoma is a common eye condition that can cause permanent vision loss when not detected early or well-managed. At the Peña Eye Institute, Dr. Raul Peña offers glaucoma surgery and other procedures to treat glaucoma and preserve vision. 

If you are worried about glaucoma, you may be wondering what symptoms to look for and what the early warning signs are. Let’s take a moment to consider the symptoms of glaucoma and what our HarlingenTX, patients can do to protect their vision.

What Is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is an eye condition that affects the optic nerve, which is responsible for sending visual information from the eye to the brain. Anyone can develop glaucoma but it is more common in people over 60, those with a family history of glaucoma, individuals with diabetes, and African Americans over the age of 40.

There are different types of glaucoma which are generally classified as either angle closure glaucoma or open-angle glaucoma. 

  • Angle closure glaucoma: Angle closure glaucoma occurs when pressure within the eye rises as a result of a blockage of the eye’s drainage canals. This causes aqueous humor, a naturally occurring liquid within the eyes, to build up, eventually causing permanent damage to the optic nerve. The symptoms of angle closure glaucoma are immediate. 
  • Open-angle glaucoma: Open-angle glaucoma is caused by a partial blockage of the eye’s drainage canals. As a result, aqueous humor doesn’t drain as well as it should, which can gradually lead to an increase in intraocular pressure. Over time, this increase in pressure damages the optic nerve. It should be noted that intraocular pressure doesn’t always increase in some types of open-angle glaucoma but the optic nerve can still become damaged. In either case, symptoms can take years to develop. 

The Symptoms of Angle Closure Glaucoma 

Angle closure glaucoma is an acute or sudden condition. It is a medical emergency that requires immediate medical attention. Symptoms occur immediately and can include:

  • Severe, one-sided eye pain
  • Headache with blurred vision
  • Vision loss
  • Eye redness
  • Rainbow-colored halos around bright lights
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting 

The Symptoms of Open-Angle Glaucoma

The symptoms of open-angle glaucoma are not as immediate as they are with angle closure glaucoma, and can take years to develop and become noticeable. There may be no symptoms whatsoever during the early stages. When symptoms present, they may include: 

  • Patchy blind spots in the peripheral vision
  • Central vision problems
  • Vision loss or blindness

Early Detection Is Key

Vision loss from glaucoma is permanent and cannot be restored once it occurs. Because of this, it’s important not to wait for glaucoma symptoms to develop before seeking treatment or to delay treatment when symptoms become noticeable. 

Early detection is essential for protecting vision in our Harlingen patients. Regular eye exams are the best defense against all types of glaucoma and can detect glaucoma even before symptoms develop. 

Although there is no cure for glaucoma, it is possible to manage the condition. The earlier glaucoma is detected, the better chances patients have for preserving their vision. 

Schedule an Appointment

Glaucoma is symptomless in its early stages and once vision problems start, they cannot be reversed. Regular eye exams are the best line of defense when it comes to glaucoma and protecting eyesight. To schedule an eye exam or to discuss your vision concerns, contact our Harlingen office today. 

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