Practice Policy Update Regarding COVID-19

Open-angle glaucoma

With open-angle glaucoma, there are no warning signs or obvious symptoms in the early stages. As the disease progresses, blind spots develop in your peripheral (side) vision.

Most people with open-angle glaucoma do not notice any change in their vision until the damage is quite severe. This is why glaucoma is called the “silent thief of sight.” Having regular eye exams can help your ophthalmologist find this disease before you lose vision. Your ophthalmologist can tell you how often you should be examined.

Angle-closure glaucoma

People at risk for angle-closure glaucoma usually show no symptoms before an attack. Some early symptoms of an attack may include blurred vision, halos, mild headaches or eye pain. People with these symptoms should be checked by their ophthalmologist as soon as possible. An attack of angle-closure glaucoma includes the following:

  • severe pain in the eye or forehead
  • redness of the eye
  • decreased vision or blurred vision
  • seeing rainbows or halos
  • headache
  • nausea
  • vomiting

Normal tension glaucoma

People with “normal tension glaucoma” have eye pressure that is within normal ranges, but show signs of glaucoma, such as blind spots in their field of vision and optic nerve damage.

Glaucoma suspects

Some people have no signs of damage but have higher than normal eye pressure (called ocular hypertension). These patients are considered “glaucoma suspects” and have a higher risk of eventually developing glaucoma. Some people are considered glaucoma suspects even if their eye pressure is normal. For example, their ophthalmologist may notice something different about their optic nerve. Most glaucoma suspects have no symptoms. That is why you need to be carefully monitored by your ophthalmologist if you are a glaucoma suspect. An ophthalmologist can check for any changes over time and begin treatment if needed.

Pigment dispersion syndrome and pigmentary glaucoma

Pigment dispersion syndrome (PDS) happens when the pigment rubs off the back of your iris. This pigment can raise eye pressure and
lead to pigmentary glaucoma. Some people with PDS or pigmentary glaucoma may see halos or have blurry vision after activities like jogging or playing basketball

See your ophthalmologist if you have these or other symptoms.

Shared from AAO

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