Glaucoma Home > Glaucoma Symptoms

The type of glaucoma a person has will affect the symptoms of glaucoma that person experiences. However, all symptoms inhibit vision in one way or another. Common signs and symptoms of the condition include cloudy eyes, sensitivity to light, and loss of side (peripheral) vision.

An Introduction to Glaucoma Signs and Symptoms

Glaucoma is a group of diseases sharing certain features, including high pressure within the eye (intraocular pressure), damage to the optic nerve, and loss of peripheral (side) vision. Glaucoma symptoms can develop in one or both eyes. There are several types of glaucoma, with open angle glaucoma being the most common. In this article, we will discuss the symptoms seen with three forms of glaucoma:
  • Open angle glaucoma
  • Angle closure glaucoma
  • Congenital glaucoma.

Open Angle Glaucoma Symptoms

Open angle glaucoma typically affects people over the age of 50. At first, a person with open angle glaucoma has no symptoms; the condition causes no pain, and vision stays normal.
However, as the condition progresses, a person with open angle glaucoma may notice a gradual failure of side vision (objects in front may be clear, but objects to the side may be missed). This may seem similar to looking into a tunnel.
If left untreated, glaucoma can begin to cause a loss of straight-ahead vision and eventually lead to irreversible blindness.

Symptoms of Angle Closure Glaucoma

Primary angle-closure glaucoma (also known as acute glaucoma) is another form of glaucoma (see Types of Glaucoma). Unlike symptoms seen with open angle glaucoma, symptoms with this type begin suddenly and violently.
In angle closure glaucoma, the fluid at the front of the eye cannot reach the angle and leave the eye. The angle gets blocked by part of the iris. People with this type of glaucoma have a sudden increase in eye pressure.
As a result, signs and symptoms of angle closure glaucoma include:
  • Severe pain
  • Nausea
  • Redness of the eye
  • Blurred vision.
If you have these symptoms, you need to seek treatment immediately. This is a medical emergency. If your doctor is unavailable, go to the nearest hospital or clinic.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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