Health One Family Medicine

5 Early Warning Signs of Glaucoma That Shouldn’t be Ignored

Glaucoma is an eye disease that gradually damages the optic nerve. It is caused because of fluid buildup inside the eye due to a lack of drainage. If not treated early, glaucoma will affect vision and lead to blindness.

In many cases, glaucoma is asymptomatic until an ophthalmologist detects it during an eye exam. Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of irreversible blindness in the United States. More than 3 million Americans are living with glaucoma, 2.7 million of whom are above the age of 40. The best way to detect and treat glaucoma is through regular eye checkups.

Here are 5 major signs that indicate glaucoma.  

1. Halos Around Lights

Halos are bright circles that surround a light source, almost like headlights. Seeing halos around lights means that you are developing a serious eye disorder, it could be glaucoma or cataracts. Some patients report seeing halos around lights as a side effect of cataract surgery, LASIK surgery, or because of eyeglasses they are wearing at the time. 

2.  Loss of Vision in One Eye

If you notice a loss of vision or develop a blind spot in your field of vision, it’s time to get tested for glaucoma. It is worth noting that glaucoma does cause a gradual loss of vision, so now is as good a time as any to get an eye checkup. This becomes even more important if you experience sudden blindness in one eye, at this point, it is an emergency.

If you indeed have glaucoma, then you’re left with a very short window of time for getting treatment to avoid permanent blindness. Temporary loss of vision is a symptom of a more serious underlying issue such a stroke and doesn’t always indicate glaucoma.

3. Cloudy Looking Eyes

The cornea has a sheet of cells on the inside which pump watery fluid out of the cornea, keeping it clear. If the pressure rises a little too high, the fluid will be pushed into the cornea, making it cloudy and water logged. This is what leads to cloudy looking eyes. 

Cloudy eyes are easily detectable in a mirror and should be immediately checked in by a doctor. In many cases, cloudy eyes are caused due to cataracts which often affect older people. If you experience hazy eyes, it’s time to get a checkup.

4. Sensitivity to light

Younger people with raised eye pressure (IOP) show increased sensitivity to light. There may be several reasons for this. The clear window of the eye may be cloudy and waterlogged, which is uncomfortable. When the cornea isn’t completely clear it will cause light to bounce off the cornea irregularly, causing glare. While this doesn’t harm a person’s vision in the short term, it is an early sign of glaucoma. 

5. Sever and Sudden Eye Pain

The most obvious sign of an acute attack of glaucoma is severe eye pain. This will often require emergency treatment because the pain is often unbearable. Such an attack will often cause redness of the eye, and nausea, with or without vomiting.

Need more advice on glaucoma? Visit or call (469)262-5762 for more information.