Don’t Miss these Early Warning Signs of Glaucoma

Mar 08, 2023
Don’t Miss these Early Warning Signs of Glaucoma
If you’re at risk for glaucoma, it’s important to recognize the early warning signs so you’ll know when to seek medical help. Keep reading to find out more about the signs.

Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions that damage the optic nerve, which sends electrical signals to your brain about what you see. Because it’s crucial to visual processing, if the optic nerve is damaged in any way, you can lose your sight.

While most cases of optic nerve damage occur because the pressure inside the eye is too high, it’s possible to develop glaucoma even with normal eye pressure.

At Precision Eye Institute, ophthalmologist Dr. Orest Krajnyk and optometrist Dr. Sean McLoughlin understand the damage glaucoma can cause, which is why they encourage all their patients to schedule regular eye exams — early detection means early treatment, and that minimizes vision loss.

They also want their patients to learn the early warning signs of the disease so they know when to seek medical treatment. Here’s what they have to say on the subject.

Understanding glaucoma

Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of vision loss in people older than 60, and it usually occurs when the fluid (aqueous humor) inside your eye builds up, putting pressure on the optic nerve and damaging or destroying it.

Normally, the humor drains from the eye through a channel called the trabecular meshwork. However, if something blocks the meshwork, or if the eye produces too much fluid to drain effectively, the pressure inside the eye increases.

Doctors can’t always determine what causes the blockage or the excess fluid to develop, but they do know that part of it is hereditary. That means you’re more likely to develop glaucoma if you have a close family member who has it.

Glaucoma can also result from a number of other causes: blunt-force trauma to the eye, a chemical spill, diabetes, high blood pressure, a severe eye infection, and some inflammatory conditions. Still, most cases can be traced to age and/or genetics.

Glaucoma comes in two forms:

Open-angle (wide-angle) glaucoma

Open-angle is the more common form of glaucoma, where the trabecular meshwork appears to be normal, but the fluid still doesn’t drain properly. 

This form of glaucoma is often referred to as the “sneak thief of vision” because there are no early warning signs. In fact, most people don’t develop any symptoms until the disease is well progressed, when they lose most of their peripheral vision. Since any vision you lose can’t be recovered, making appointments for regular eye exams that include a test for intraocular pressure (IOP) are critical.

Angle-closure (narrow-angle) glaucoma

Angle-closure glaucoma occurs when the space between the iris and the cornea narrows until the eye can’t drain properly, leading to a sudden pressure buildup.

Symptoms appear quickly, and damage occurs equally as quickly, so it’s important you don’t miss these early warning signs. If you experience any of the following signs, contact our office  or head to the nearest emergency room ASAP:


  • Halos around lights
  • Severe eye pain
  • Vision loss
  • Eye redness
  • Nausea or vomiting

Prompt treatment aimed at draining the fluid causing the pressure buildup is essential to prevent further vision loss.

If you’re at risk for glaucoma, or if you haven’t had an eye exam in more than a year, schedule an appointment with one of our doctors by calling Precision Eye Institute at any of our locations (Edgewater, New Smyrna Beach and Daytona Beach, Florida), or by booking online with us today.