Loss of our vision is a scary thought. After all, visual impairment causes some loss of the degree of independence we are used to as sighted people. By knowing what symptoms to look for, early detection can lead to earlier intervention and hopefully more positive outcomes.

Although there are a few types of Glaucoma, they are part of a group of eye diseases which damage the optic nerve. Once damaged, effects are irreversible. It is therefore recommended to recognize the symptoms and have your eyes checked at least once a year. Even twice a year after a certain age and as your eye doctor (optometrist) suggests. The goal is to catch glaucoma before the damage is done to your eyesight.

The two main glaucoma types are; primary open-angle glaucoma and angle-closure glaucoma. Open-angle – has few warning signs and is caused by blocked drainage channels which prevent fluid to drain out of your eyes fast enough. Therefore, the fluid backs up in the eye thereby pressure increases in the eye.

Angle-closure is caused by the iris bulging forward, blocking or narrowing the angle for drainage. You may have severe head and eye pain along with nausea or vomiting, along with sudden vision loss. This usually happens suddenly.

Symptoms Include:

~Trouble adjusting eyes when entering a dark room

~double vision

~change in the color of the ire’s area of the eyes

~watery eyes, not due to allergy

~Dry, itching or burning eyes

~Severe sensitivity to light

~Swollen eye lids or crustiness around the eyes

~Pain in the area of the eyes

~Seeing phantom-like images

~A dark spot in the center of viewing area of the eye.

If you or your loved one experiences sudden vision loss or blurred vision in one eye, sees rainbows around lights and black spots or light flashes – get to an emergency room immediately.

Our eyes and eyesight are so precious to us that routine examinations by your optometrist or ophthalmologist are crucial since early detection can have better results. Should you have visual impairment, contact the Lighthouse for the Blind or JBI International in your area. They can help you in setting up your kitchen and other living spaces, provide ways to maximize your vision and get Talking Books at no charge.  If you feel that you need someone with you as you heal through treatment, use eye drops or adapt to a new situation, having an aide with you for assistance or care can be very comforting and practical.