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Glaucoma (cont.)

When To Call a Doctor

Call or other emergency services immediately if you have these symptoms of sudden (acute) closed-angle glaucoma:

  • Sudden, severe blurring of vision in one eye
  • Severe pain in the affected eye
  • Redness of the affected eye
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Colored halos surrounding light sources

Call your doctor if you:

  • Notice blind spots in your vision.
  • Notice that over time you are having more difficulty seeing.
  • Have a family history of open-angle glaucoma, are age 40 or older, and have not had an eye exam in more than a year. You may need to be examined by an eye specialist (ophthalmologist or optometrist) for signs of glaucoma.
  • Have glaucoma and develop symptoms of side effects from the glaucoma medicines that you are taking. See the Medications section of this topic.

Watchful waiting

Watchful waiting is not appropriate if you have symptoms of sudden (acute) closed-angle glaucoma. See the When to Call a Doctor section of this topic.

If your doctor detects that you have a slight increase in the pressure in your eyes (intraocular pressure, or IOP) and you have no other risk factors for glaucoma, your doctor may not treat it right away. But you will need to have the pressure in your eyes checked regularly, and you will need regular eye exams to make sure you are not developing glaucoma.

Who to see

The following doctors can diagnose glaucoma:

Decisions about treatment for glaucoma need to be made with the help of an ophthalmologist.

An optician cannot diagnose or treat glaucoma.

To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.

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