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Glaucoma: Signs & Symptoms

The most common types of glaucoma—open-angle and angle-closure—have completely different symptoms.

Symptoms of Open-Angle Glaucoma

Most people who develop open-angle glaucoma don’t experience any noticeable symptoms at first. That’s why it’s critical to have regular eye exams, so that your eye doctor can detect problems early on.

Symptoms of open-angle glaucoma are:

  • Gradual loss of peripheral vision, usually in both eyes
  • Tunnel vision in the advanced stages

See how the progression of glaucoma may affect your vision. 

Symptoms of Acute Angle-Closure Glaucoma

Acute angle-closure glaucoma is a medical emergency and must be treated immediately or blindness could result in one or two days.

Acute angle-closure glaucoma signs and symptoms include:

  • Severe eye pain
  • Nausea and vomiting (accompanying the severe eye pain)
  • Sudden onset of visual disturbance, often in low light
  • Blurred vision
  • Halos around lights
  • Reddening of the eye

Symptoms of Chronic Angle-Closure Glaucoma

This type of glaucoma progresses more slowly and can damage the optic nerve without symptoms, similar to open-angle glaucoma.

Similarly, people with normal-tension glaucoma will not experience any symptoms until they begin to lose peripheral vision. 


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