A complicated abnormality of eyes, wherein damage of the optic nerve, could lead to loss of vision, is termed as Glaucoma.
The two most known forms of Glaucoma are primary open angle glaucoma (POAG) and angle closure glaucoma (ACG).
Symptoms of Glaucoma
Open Angle Glaucoma Symptoms
Open angle glaucoma does not show any symptoms till adequate vision loss occurs and hence, referred to as “the sneak thief of sight”. In majority of patients with POAG, change in vision is not comprehended as initially it is only the peripheral vision loss. Patients develop “tunnel vision”, where they are able to see correctly, right in front of the eye.
With time, this straight vision also decreases.The time when a patient realizes his/her vision loss, the disease has already progressed into much advanced stage. If the condition is urgently not corrected, it may cause blindness.
Closed Angle Glaucoma Symptoms
Blurred or hazy vision, rainbow colored circles around bright light, pain in eye and head, eye redness, eye bursting, nausea accompanying severe eye pain and in case IOP is increased to extremes, the optic nerve gets damaged causing sudden loss of sight.
ACG is a rare type of glaucoma but develops very quickly, hence demands instant medical supervision. Its symptoms are very noticeable and damage occurs at fast speed. Never delay visiting the ophthalmologist in case one observes any of the above symptoms.
Congenital Glaucoma Symptoms
Congenital Glaucoma is a rare condition that could be inherited or caused by improper development of drainage system of the eye, before birth. This tends to increase intraocular pressure that in turn harms the optic nerve of the eye.Though, congenital glaucoma is present since birth, symptoms may develop later, anywhere from early few months to the first year of life.
Noticeable symptoms include enlargement of eyes, cloudy appearance that results from damaging of front part of the eyes (cornea), watering eyes, frequent rubbing of eyes, squinting or difficulty in opening of eyes in front of light.Port wine stains on infant’s face may include Sturge -Weber syndrome that could at times lead to glaucoma.
Symptoms of Secondary Forms of Glaucoma
Some underlying problems of eyes could lead to abnormal increase of eye pressure that may cause glaucoma but mask the glaucoma symptoms. Eye inflammation (uveitis) also leads to halo formation and light sensitivity of the eye. In cases of eye damage due to retinal detachment, bleeding or corneal edema, glaucoma symptoms get overshadowed. Ophthalmologists dealing with these complicated eye conditions examine the internal drain of eye, optic nerve state, visual fields and monitor the intraocular pressure to detect for the earliest signs of glaucoma, if present.
Risk Factors For Glaucoma
One may be at increased risk of glaucoma, if there has been a family history of open angle glaucoma in the family. Those who are diabetic or having cardiovascular ailments are at increased risk for this eye problem. Steroid user, eye injury, high myopia, hypertension and corneal thickness of less than 0.5mm put one at higher risk. The risk further increases with old age, especially beyond 60 years.
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