What are the symptoms of glaucoma?

There are two types of glaucoma that you should be aware of, open-angle glaucoma (POAG) and angle-closure glaucoma (ACG), also known as acute or narrow-eye glaucoma. Open-angle glaucoma has no early signs or symptoms. The symptoms for angle-closure include blurry vision, nausea and even sight loss.

It is estimated that over 11.2 million people across the world will be completely blind by 2020, as a result of glaucoma. So understanding the symptoms has never been more important for your eye health. Our infographic provides you with all you need to know about the silent killer of eyesight to ensure you understand the symptoms, causes and treatments available.

Symptoms of open-angle glaucoma

There are generally no symptoms or early signs of open-angle glaucoma which is why it is known as the “silent thief of sight”. If untreated, open-angle glaucoma can lead to sight loss so it is critical to see an eye doctor for regular examinations. If this is in one eye only, it may go unnoticed until vision is profoundly affected.  

This is the most common type of glaucoma, and if you are diabetic or have cardiovascular disease you are at an increased risk of developing the eye disease. The risk of developing open-angle glaucoma also increases with age. If you have a family history of glaucoma and are over the age of 40, you should see an eye doctor every one to two years to monitor your eye health.

Symptoms of angle-closure glaucoma

Symptoms to look out for in angle-closure glaucoma include eye and head pain, the appearance of rainbow colour circles in bright lights, and blurry vision. The pain can cause nausea and vomiting and can even lead to sudden sight loss.

These symptoms can develop quickly and are immediately noticeable. If untreated, you are at risk of suffering from repeated closed angle attacks and/or a sustained raised intraocular pressure (IOP). This can lead to damage to the optic nerve, known as primary angle-closure glaucoma (PACG). It is crucial that you monitor the condition of your eyes by having regular eye examinations.

There isn’t one treatment for glaucoma, as it depends on each patient and their eye condition. If you are concerned about your eye health, get in touch with an eye doctor who will be able to provide you with the right information and support your next steps. 

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