Glaucoma Symptoms

There are several types of glaucoma and all of them are characterized by raised intraocular pressure.

Symptoms of different types of glaucoma include:-

Chronic open-angle glaucoma

In this type of glaucoma there is usually no overt symptoms at least in the initial stages. The condition progresses slowly. Damage to sight also takes longer to occur.

In this type of glaucoma the visual field is affected first. The peripheral vision goes before the central vision. Vision is lost from the outer rim of the eye, slowly working inwards towards the centre.

Acute angle-closure glaucoma

This condition is rarer and may progress rapidly. During a severe attack the symptoms may be acute or sudden onset. There is intense eye pain, redness of the eyes, severe headache, and tenderness around the eyes, halos or rainbow like pattern around lights in the vision, blurred vision, and quickly progressing loss of vision in one or both eyes. There may be associated nausea and vomiting.

The acute attack may last from one or two hours before disappearing again. But each time the symptoms occur the vision is damaged to a greater extent. Acute angle closure glaucoma attacks are a medical emergency.

Secondary glaucoma

This is usually a result of eye injuries or other eye diseases like uveitis. Uveitis often causes painful eyes and headaches and similarly features of secondary glaucoma include those for the eye disease that has given rise to it in the first place. Blurred vision, rings or halos around lights, reduced field of vision etc. are common findings seen in secondary glaucomas.

Congenital or Developmental glaucoma

This type of glaucoma occurs in a baby or in a child. It is often difficult to recognize this type of glaucoma. Physical symptoms include large eyes in the baby. This is caused due to expansion of the eyes due to raised ocular pressure.

The baby is sensitive to light (photophobia) and tends to cry or wince in bright lights. The eyes appear cloudy and watery and the movements are jerky. Some babies with congenital glaucoma may also develop squints or cross eyes where the alignment of the eyeballs is altered.

Further Reading

Last Updated: Feb 26, 2019

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Written by

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Dr. Ananya Mandal is a doctor by profession, lecturer by vocation and a medical writer by passion. She specialized in Clinical Pharmacology after her bachelor's (MBBS). For her, health communication is not just writing complicated reviews for professionals but making medical knowledge understandable and available to the general public as well.


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  1. Millard Stahle Millard Stahle United States says:

    You need to correct your opening sentence.  "There are several types of glaucoma and all of them are characterized by raised intraocular pressure."  Normal tension glaucoma sufferers have intraocular pressure in the "normal" range (less than 21).  Normal tension glaucoma is found in approximately one fourth of all glaucoma sufferers.  It would be highly misleading to suggest to people that if they have "normal" intraocular pressure, they won't develop glaucoma.

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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