Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
What are the symptoms of primary open-angle glaucoma?
In the early stages of primary open-angle glaucoma, there are no symptoms. Because of the silent nature of primary open-angle glaucoma, people do not usually have any visual complaints until late in the course of the disease (see When to Seek Medical Care). By the time you would notice vision loss, significant amounts of optic nerve damage and vision loss have already occurred. The optic nerve damage and vision loss are permanent.
Some people’s first sign of disease from elevated intraocular pressure can be sudden vision loss due to the vein in the central part of the retina becoming blocked, called a central retinal vein occlusion. Elevated intraocular pressure is the second most common risk factor for a central retinal vein occlusion after high blood pressure (hypertension). This central retinal vein occlusion can cause vision loss separately from primary open-angle glaucoma.
Risk factors identified with primary open-angle glaucoma include the following:
Of these risk factors, elevated intraocular pressure is the main risk factor for glaucoma that must be immediately and continuously treated. For this reason, regular eye examinations with an ophthalmologist are very important to rule out any damage to the optic nerve due to high pressure.
When should I seek medical care for primary open-angle glaucoma?
Regular eye examinations with an ophthalmologist are important to screen for primary open-angle glaucoma. In particular, regular eye examinations are critical for people who are at high risk for glaucoma, such as African Americans and elderly individuals.
Your initial visit to the ophthalmologist is extremely important in the evaluation for primary open-angle glaucoma or other ocular diseases that could be causing elevated intraocular pressure (called secondary glaucoma).
During this visit, the ophthalmologist may ask you about the following:
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/21/2016
Jerald A Bell, MD
Richard W Allinson, MD
Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD
Robert H Graham, MD
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE
Must Read Articles Related to Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma
Patient Comments & Reviews
The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma:
Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma - Symptoms
What were the symptoms you experienced from primary open-angle glaucoma?
Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma - Treatment
What treatment did you receive for your primary open-angle congenital glaucoma?
Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma - Surgery
Did you undergo surgery for your primary open-angle glaucoma? Please tell us your experience and the results.