Which are the Most Common Signs of Glaucoma?

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  • Written By: Alex Paul
  • Edited By: R. Halprin
  • Last Modified Date: 09 July 2019
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The most common sign of glaucoma is a loss of vision, but this will often not be noticeable until the later stages of the condition’s progression. Other common signs of glaucoma, such as excessive sensitivity to light and headaches, occur in some cases, but not all. Acute glaucoma has similar symptoms, including loss of vision, a feeling of sickness, and red eyes, but these will become noticeable in a much shorter time frame. There are a number of signs of glaucoma that can only be detected by an eye doctor, which is why regular checkups are important.

Common signs of glaucoma can be hard to recognize, especially in the early stages. Deterioration of vision will occur over time with chronic glaucoma, so the earlier the condition is diagnosed the better. The person typically won’t notice this deterioration immediately. Peripheral vision is usually affected first, so any loss of vision may go unnoticed for a long time. Once the central vision is affected, the condition may have already progressed to a late stage.

There are several other signs of glaucoma, although these may or may not be present. As with the gradual loss of vision, these symptoms might go unnoticed to begin with. A person with glaucoma may suffer from extra light sensitivity, for example, as well as increased tearing. Headaches are also often common. Whether these symptoms occur depends on the progression of the condition as well as what type of glaucoma is present.


The signs of acute glaucoma are often more noticeable. As with chronic glaucoma, there will be a loss of vision, but this will occur much more rapidly. The eye may also appear red and inflamed. Other signs of glaucoma in an acute case include pain, feeling sick, and blurred vision. If a person thinks that he or she may be suffering from acute glaucoma, then a trip to a hospital is essential.

As it can be difficult for a person to notice signs of glaucoma until extensive damage has already occurred, the best way for the condition to be diagnosed is through regular eye exams. A screening test will usually involve a number of procedures to check for symptoms of the condition. The thickness of the person’s cornea, as well as the appearance of the optic nerve, can be inspected to check for signs of glaucoma. An eye doctor may also assess a person’s field of vision.



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