The signs and symptoms of glaucoma vary depending on the type and stage of your condition. For example:

Open-angle glaucoma

  • Patchy blind spots in your side (peripheral) or central vision, frequently in both eyes
  • Tunnel vision in the advanced stages

Acute angle-closure glaucoma

  • Severe headache
  • Eye pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Blurred vision
  • Halos around lights
  • Eye redness

If left untreated, glaucoma will eventually cause blindness. Even with treatment, about 15 percent of people with glaucoma become blind in at least one eye within 20 years.

When to see a doctor

Seek immediate medical care

Promptly go to an emergency room or an eye doctor's (ophthalmologist's) office if you experience some of the symptoms of acute angle-closure glaucoma, such as severe headache, eye pain and blurred vision.

Schedule eye exams

Open-angle glaucoma gives few warning signs until permanent damage has already occurred. Regular eye exams are the key to detecting glaucoma early enough to successfully slow or prevent vision loss.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends glaucoma screening:

  • Every four years beginning at age 40 if you don't have any glaucoma risk factors
  • Every two years if you're at high risk or over 65
Sept. 15, 2015