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Can I Go Blind if I Have Glaucoma?

Everyone occasionally sees spots when they open their eyes, but if you notice regular changes in your vision, even if they’re subtle, you might have a condition called glaucoma.

Without prompt treatment, glaucoma can lead to vision decline and put you at risk for complete vision loss.

Fortunately, when your symptoms are caught early, board-certified ophthalmologist Phillip Wu, MD, here at Suburban Eyes Clinic in Evanston, Illinois, can treat your glaucoma and prevent any further loss of vision.

Learn more about the link between glaucoma and blindness and the symptoms to look for.

Understanding glaucoma

Glaucoma is an eye condition caused by damage to your optic nerve. Usually, glaucoma develops as a result of pressure and excess fluid in your eye. The damage causes your vision to slowly get worse.

There are several types of glaucoma, with open-angle glaucoma and acute angle-closure glaucoma being the most common. Every form of glaucoma causes reduced vision and can cause blindness without treatment.

Open-angle glaucoma is the diagnosis in the vast majority of glaucoma cases; both types involve blockage of the drainage canals in the eyes, allowing pressure in the eyes to build.

Glaucoma most frequently occurs in adults over the age of 60. However, it’s possible to develop glaucoma at any age, especially if you have a family history of the condition.

The link between glaucoma and blindness

Glaucoma is a degenerative condition that causes a slow decline in your vision. If you don’t receive treatment for glaucoma, your vision can get worse over time, eventually causing you to become fully blind.

Approximately 15% of people who develop glaucoma become blind in one or both eyes. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to recover vision you’ve already lost as a result of glaucoma.

However, there’s good news: By noticing symptoms of glaucoma quickly and making an appointment with Dr. Wu at Suburban Eyes Clinic, you may be able to minimize any further vision loss.

Symptoms of glaucoma

Glaucoma symptoms can be subtle, so it’s important to pay close attention to any small changes in your vision and make an appointment with our team to have them assessed.

Open-angle glaucoma symptoms tend to develop slowly and be difficult to catch. Schedule an evaluation with Dr. Wu if you regularly experience blind spots or blurriness in your central or peripheral vision, or if you start experiencing tunnel vision.

Acute angle-closure glaucoma usually causes more obvious symptoms. You might experience pain in your eyes, nausea, vomiting, and severe headaches alongside blurred vision, seeing halos around lights, and eye redness.

If you have acute angle-closure glaucoma symptoms, you might need pressure relief in your eyes immediately. You should make an emergency appointment with Dr. Wu or another emergency service.

Treating glaucoma

As an experienced glaucoma specialist, Dr. Wu personalizes your treatment based on the type and stage of glaucoma you have. For non-emergency forms of glaucoma, Dr. Wu’s treatment plan for your eyes may include:

The threat of vision loss from glaucoma can be scary, but with available treatments, going blind doesn’t have to be inevitable. If you or a loved one is experiencing signs of glaucoma, make an appointment today at Suburban Eyes Clinic online or by phone.

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