Glaucoma: When to seek medical help?
Glaucoma is a group of diseases which can cause loss of vision without any warning symptoms. Often it is referred to as ‘silent thief of sight’ as in many cases it may cause no symptoms till advanced stages of disease even when the vision is affected significantly.
Consult your doctor or other emergency services immediately if you have one or more of the following symptoms that are suggestive of sudden (acute) closed-angle glaucoma:
- Blurring of vision (may be sudden and severe).
- Severe pain in eye (the pain may occur in the eye itself or in areas around the eye).
- Redness of the eye.
- Pain on touch (tenderness) in the area round eye.
- Seeing halos or 'rainbow-like' rings around lights.
- Sudden, misty or severe blurring of vision.
- Nausea and vomiting (present along with symptoms in the eye).
Most people with acute angle closure glaucoma do not have constant symptoms. The symptoms may last for a few hours (one or two hours) before disappearing again. Some people may experience short episodes of symptoms (subacute closed-angle glaucoma) that start in the evening and subside by morning. But each episode of symptoms damages the vision little more. Some people may have severe (acute) symptoms that require immediate medical attention. It is important to contact your doctor immediately if you have any of these symptoms as prompt diagnosis and treatment can prevent further damage to vision.
Consult your doctor if you have one or more of the following symptoms suggestive of glaucoma:
- Observing blind spots in your vision.
- Increasing difficulty in sight or other problems related to vision.
Most people with open angle glaucoma do not have any noticeable symptoms till late in the course of disease as the condition develops very slowly. Hence they may not be aware that their sight is being damaged. By the time you may realize that your vision is affected –vision loss may be significant.
Hence experts suggest that it is important to get eyes checked regularly if you have family history of open-angle glaucoma, or aged 40 or older. A person over 40 should have eye test at least every two years, or more frequently if the optometrist (healthcare professional who tests sight) recommends it.
Consult your doctor for the following if you have glaucoma
- Develop symptoms of side effects from glaucoma medications.
- Symptoms do not improve after treatment or you develop new symptoms.
Who To consult
Health care professional who can be consulted for symptoms related to vision or eye include:
- Ophthalmologist. The ophthalmologist can make decisions about treatment for glaucoma.
Source: Expert Content Apr 10, 2012
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