Symptoms & Risk Factors
Scheduling a comprehensive dilated eye exam at least once a year with an eye care professional is crucial in finding out whether you have glaucoma, since people who are diagnosed with the disease often do not experience glaucoma symptoms, or are even aware they have the condition.
Open-angle glaucoma has no obvious symptoms in its early stage. As the disease progresses, blind spots can begin to develop in the peripheral (side) view. These spots can go undetected until the optic nerve has experienced serious damage, or until it’s detected by an eye care specialist through a complete eye exam.
Similarly, people at risk for angle-closure glaucoma often do not experience symptoms before it occurs. Symptoms of angle-closure glaucoma may include:
• Severe pain in the eyes or forehead
• Redness of the eye
• Decreased vision or blurred vision
• Seeing rainbows or halos around lights
Many risk factors exist for the development of glaucoma. Some of these include:
• Elevated eye pressure
• Sudden considerable changes in eye pressure
• Older age
• African American ethnicity
• Hispanic ethnicity
• Asian ethnicity
• Having a relative with glaucoma
• Decreased central corneal thickness
• Blunt eye trauma
• Inflammatory eye conditions
If you have one or more of the glaucoma risk factors listed and are over the age of 35, you should visit your eye care professional for a full glaucoma exam. Early detection and treatment of high eye pressure is your best defense against glaucoma.
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