The symptoms

Open angle glaucoma is an insidious disease, often without symptoms.

Often there is no warning prior to the appearance of glaucoma. This is why it is essential to periodically test for this disease.

Usually, for a long period, the central vision is intact because the defects in the visual field are only peripheral, and both eyes may not be affected in the same manner and one eye compensates for the other. An ophthalmologist is capable of detecting the first signs of the disease by examining the optic nerve and the visual field and checking eye pressure. Glaucoma is often insidious, causing irreversible damage without symptoms.

Acute glaucoma is different: the rise of the ocular pressure is quick and high; typically, the patient feels pain in the eye, redness and even nausea. Halos around light may occur and then blurry vision.

Acute glaucoma is an emergency, which requires urgent consultation, as the vision can be irremediably compromised within hours.

Is Glaucoma painful?

In general, glaucoma is a painless disease because the ocular pressure rises very slowly. The absence of evident symptoms is also responsible for the late diagnosis of glaucoma, because patients do not feel anything for many years.

Once the ocular pressure reaches a certain level (over 30 to 35 mm Hg), patients start feeling discomfort in the eye, or around it.  The pain is very rare in chronic and very frequent in acute glaucoma.

Are both eyes equally affected?

Glaucoma is a disease that affects both eyes, but often in an unequal way. Usually the eye that is most affected by the disease is the one with the higher intraocular pressure. Rarely, there are cases where only one eye is affected by glaucoma, for example after an ocular trauma.