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Bascom Palmer Eye Institute

Symptoms of Glaucoma

Although the blindness associated with this disease is preventable, more than one million Symptoms of glaucomapeople in the United States have some glaucoma-related vision loss. In most cases, glaucoma is asymptomatic (has no symptoms). By the time an individual experiences decreased vision, the disease is frequently in its latter stages. Since early warning signs of glaucoma are rare, it is important —- especially for those at risk —- to have medical eye examinations at appropriate intervals, as described in this section.
Symptoms depend on the type of glaucoma the individual has.

  • Patients with chronic glaucoma may not be aware of any symptoms because the disease develops slowly and they rarely notice loss of peripheral vision.
  • Patients with an acute form of glaucoma (acute angle closure) may develop severe symptoms because ocular pressure rises quickly and they may experience:
    • Blurred vision, especially at night
    • Halos or rainbows around lights
    • Severe headaches or eye pain
    • Nausea