Can Glaucoma cause vision loss?
Glaucoma is a complicated disease in which damage to the optic nerve can result in vision loss.
There are several forms of glaucoma; the two most common forms are primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) and angle-closure glaucoma (ACG).
Open-angle glaucoma is often called "the sneak thief of sight" because it has no symptoms until significant vision loss has occurred. On the other hand Angle closure Glaucoma often leads to symptoms in the eyes.
Symptoms of Acute Angle-Closure Glaucoma:
• Hazy or blurred vision
• The appearance of rainbow-colored circles around bright lights
• Severe eye and head pain
• Nausea or vomiting (accompanying severe eye pain)
• Sudden sight loss
In angle-closure glaucoma (also called narrow angle glaucoma), the angle is closed in many or most areas, causing increased eye pressure, which leads to optic nerve damage, and possible vision loss. This rise in eye pressure may occur suddenly (an acute attack of angle closure) or gradually. There are also early stages of the disease in which the angle is closed but the eye pressure may or may not be high and the optic nerve is not affected yet.
Symptoms of acute angle-closure glaucoma are very noticeable and damage occurs quickly. If you experience any of these symptoms, seek immediate care from an eye doctor near you or preferably a glaucoma specialist.
Symptoms of Open-Angle Glaucoma:
There are typically no early warning signs or symptoms of open-angle glaucoma. It develops slowly and sometimes without noticeable sight loss for many years.
Most people who have open-angle glaucoma feel fine and do not notice a change in their vision at first because the initial loss of vision is of side or peripheral vision, and the visual acuity or sharpness of vision is maintained until late in the disease.
Peripheral vision problems mean that you don't have a normal, wide-angle field of vision, even though your central vision may be fine. Most people notice it only when it becomes very advanced.
Moderate and severe cases of peripheral vision loss create the sensation of seeing through a narrow tube, a condition commonly referred to as "tunnel vision.
Symptoms of peripheral vision loss also can include difficulty seeing in dim light and decreased ability to navigate while you are walking.
By the time a patient is aware of vision loss, the disease is usually quite advanced. Vision loss from glaucoma is not reversible with treatment, even with laser or surgery for glaucoma.
Because open-angle glaucoma has few warning signs or symptoms before damage has occurred, it is important to see a doctor for regular eye examinations. If glaucoma is detected during an eye exam, your eye doctor can prescribe a preventative treatment to help protect your vision.
In open-angle glaucoma, the angle in your eye where the iris meets the cornea is as wide and open as it should be, but the eye’s drainage canals become clogged over time, causing an increase in internal eye pressure and subsequent damage to the optic nerve. It is the most common type of glaucoma.
So, the best remedy to prevent vision loss form Glaucoma is to get regular eye check-ups especially after the age of 40.