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Most Common Warning Signs of Glaucoma

Glaucoma causes progressive and permanent vision loss due to a buildup of fluid pressure in the eyeball. The disease presents itself in two common forms—primary open-angle glaucoma and angle-closure glaucoma. Unfortunately, both have their own unique and subtle set of symptoms, in which the unaffected eye counterbalances the vision loss in the affected eye.

Primary open-angle glaucoma, the most common type, begins at the peripheral working inward to incapacitate central vision, and leading to tunnel vision. While acute angle-closure glaucoma (also called chronic angle-closure or narrow-angle glaucoma) causes blurred vision with halo effects around eyes. Both types cause the irreversible and gradual damage of the optic nerve (the mechanism that sends visual information from retina to brain). The slow decline of sight often means the condition isn’t diagnosed until the advanced stage.

You can prevent glaucoma with regular optical exams (with a visual field test) and also by remaining watchful of these 12 subtle warning signs…

1. Types of Glaucoma

Before we dive into the early warning signs of this eye condition, it’s important we make a distinction between the two different types of glaucoma. The two types of glaucoma: open-angle glaucoma and angle-closure glaucoma, present different signs. WebMD points out that open-angle glaucoma is the more common type. It is sometimes also referred to as wide-angle glaucoma. It occurs when the “drain structure in your eye — it’s called the trabecular meshwork — looks normal, but fluid doesn’t flow out like it should,” writes WebMD.

The second type is angle-closure glaucoma which is less common, but more prominent in Asia than in the West, says the source. It can also be referred to as chronic angle-closure or narrow-angle glaucoma. It’s a result of poor drainage in the eye. “Your eye doesn’t drain right because the drain space between your iris and cornea becomes too narrow,” says WebMD. “This can cause a sudden buildup of pressure in your eye.” In addition to glaucoma, this can also lead to cataracts and farsightedness.

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