The Signs & Symptoms Of Glaucoma: What To Do


Glaucoma is an eye condition that is relatively common, particularly in older people. It is generally caused as a result of the pressure in the eye building up because it is not possible for the fluid to drain properly. As a result of the build-up of pressure, damage is caused to the optic nerve. This is the nerve that is responsible for the transfer of the image that your eye sees to the brain. 

When the optic nerve is damaged the edges of your vision – your peripheral vision – are affected first. This is why, according to the experts at R Woodfall. It is common for the first signs of the condition to go unnoticed, and it is often only picked up when you go for a routine eye examination. 

The signs of glaucoma

Unfortunately the initial signs and symptoms of glaucoma can be very subtle. This means that it is very easy for someone to overlook them and believe that they are something else such as symptoms of tiredness or allergies. 

Things to look out for include cloudy or blurred vision This is particularly important if you have one eye closed, and this happens if you are reading, driving or your mobility becomes more of an issue. 

In addition to cloudy or blurred vision, individuals should be aware of other less recognized signs such as sudden visual disturbances, especially in low light conditions, or the appearance of halos around lights.

Eye pain, redness, and excessive tearing can also be indicators of glaucoma, especially if these symptoms persist or worsen over time.

Moreover, a noticeable loss of peripheral (side) vision could be a crucial early sign of glaucoma, often overlooked until it becomes quite significant. Regular eye check-ups can help detect these symptoms early, allowing for timely intervention to prevent further visual impairment.


If you experience any of these signs or symptoms it is important to make an appointment with your optician so that they can do a thorough eye examination to see what is going on. An early diagnosis is vital with glaucoma, as it can help to control the condition.

There is more of a risk of developing glaucoma as we age. It is a condition that is much less common in those who are under the age of 40. 

Glaucoma is also more common amongst those of Afro-Caribbean descent, and in those instances where there is a family history of glaucoma. If you have diabetes, short or long sightedness or a history of high blood pressure then you are also more at risk of developing glaucoma. There are some medications that can also increase your risk of developing glaucoma. 

The following tests are the ones which may help to show if you have signs of glaucoma, they are all carried out as part of a routine eye test:

  • Visual Field Test – this test checks your peripheral vision 
  • Eye Pressure Test – this test checks pressure within the eye 
  • Optic Nerve Assessment – this test looks at the back of the eye to check the health of your optic nerve. This part of the eye will look different if you have Glaucoma.   

If your optician detects signs of glaucoma whilst they are carrying out any of these tests, they will refer you to a local hospital so that you can be seen by an Ophthalmologist.

How is glaucoma treated?

Unfortunately, there is no cure for glaucoma, nor can it be reversed. However, with the right medical treatment, the damage can be slowed down or in some cases even stopped. 

Treatment for glaucoma may be done through medicines, eye drops, surgery or laser treatment. The type of glaucoma that you are diagnosed with, together with your medical and health history, will determine the type of treatment that may be most suitable for you.

It is important for glaucoma to be treated because if it isn’t it can lead to irreversible loss of sight.   

If you have any concerns about your eyesight then you should contact your optician to book in for an eye examination, even if you are not due for your next appointment. Your sight is irreplaceable and early detection of conditions like glaucoma can help to prevent full sight loss.