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6 Early Signs of Glaucoma & What to Do if You Spot Them

One of the best reasons for seeing an eye doctor for regular vision care exams is that certain eye diseases can be detected and treated early. That’s true for glaucoma, a progressive disease that can cause serious damage if left untreated. Visiting an ophthalmologist for glaucoma treatment at our 5 NYC locations in Jamaica, Jackson Heights, the Bronx, Manhattan, and Brooklyn can stem the condition’s progress and keep your eyes healthy.

Glaucoma actually includes a group of eye diseases that can damage the optic nerve. Elevated eye pressure is among the condition’s primary risk factors but many people diagnosed with the disease don’t have a history of high eye pressure.

When diagnosed early, glaucoma typically responds well to treatment using eye drops. That’s why it’s important to be aware of signs you can catch early on. Even if you’re already getting regular eye checkups, knowing the early warning signs of glaucoma can help you avoid having the disease damage your vision.

What Are Early Glaucoma Warning Signs?

The following symptoms could be signs of glaucoma:

  1. Seeing halos around lights: Women and men often first notice this when driving at night and they see halos appearing around streetlights or oncoming headlights.
  2. Sudden, partial vision loss: This could occur in one or both eyes. This could be a blind spot, or you might notice decreased sharpness of vision. The loss of peripheral vision is another possible sign of glaucoma.
  3. Pain or pressure: Sharp or dull eye pain should be checked immediately. You may also notice a more general feeling of pressure similar to what’s associated with sinus infections.
  4. Cloudiness: Another indication of glaucoma that you can see in the mirror is a cloudy appearance of the eyes.
  5. Chronic redness: Occasional eye redness is normal for most people, but if your eyes appear tired and red for several consecutive days that could be an early warning sign of glaucoma.
  6. Multi-colored rings around lights: Seeing rainbow rings around lights is also a possible sign of glaucoma.

What to Do if You Notice Signs of Glaucoma

If you notice concerning symptoms, schedule an appointment with your ophthalmologist. A severe, sudden headache that accompanies one or more of these symptoms should be checked and treated immediately.

We also recommend getting emergency treatment for severe eye pain that occurs out of the blue, which can be a sign of an acute attack of angle-closure glaucoma. This occurs when the eye’s drainage system gets completely blocked and can’t remove any fluid from the eye. Open-angle glaucoma is a common type of the disease but gradually erodes your vision without treatment.

Glaucoma Risk Factors

Even though glaucoma can occur in anyone, there are a few factors that may increase your risk, according to the American Optometric Association:

  • Age: People over 60 are at a higher risk, and that risk increases with each year of age.
  • Race: African-American people are more likely to develop glaucoma and experience vision loss.
  • Family history: Having family members who have had glaucoma puts you at a higher risk.
  • Medical conditions: High blood pressure and diabetes are associated with an increased risk of glaucoma.

If you experience any of these warning signs or just want to schedule a regular eye exam, contact us using our online form. Or call 866-599-8774 to schedule an appointment at our Jackson Heights, Jamaica, Bronx, Manhattan, or Brooklyn locations.

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