5 symptoms of the silent eye disease glaucoma and tips to prevent it

Glaucoma, is a fairly common condition worldwide. It is estimated that around 80 million people worldwide have glaucoma and that about 50 percent of individuals with glaucoma are unaware that they have this disease. This is because glaucoma does not cause symptoms in its early stages.

Glaucoma is a condition that damages the optic end of the eye. Over time, it worsens and is often associated with high intraocular blood pressure. It is mostly hereditary, but there are cases where it is not genetic. Eye pressure, called intraocular pressure, can damage the optic end that sends images to the brain. If the damage worsens, glaucoma can cause permanent vision loss or even complete blindness within a few years.

More than one person with glaucoma does not have early symptoms or pain. For this reason, regular systematic examinations are valuable. Once vision is lost, it cannot be restored.


There are 2 main types of glaucoma; open-angle and closed-angle glaucoma.

Open-angle glaucoma

Open-angle glaucoma is the most common type. The drainage structure in the eye (called the trabecular meshwork) occurs without problems, but when the fluid is not flowing as it should.

Open-angle glaucoma is very progressive and may progress asymptomatically for 10 to 20 years. It can only be detected by a complete eye examination during this time. About 90 percent of events are open-angle glaucoma.

Closed-angle glaucoma

Closed-angle glaucoma occurs when the drainage space between the iris and cornea becomes too narrow. This can cause a sudden build-up of pressure that is appreciated. In addition, cataract is also related to the clouding of the lens in the eye.

Closed-angle glaucoma is a rare form that abruptly affects only one of the two eyes. The person feels a very sharp pain in the eye and perceives a colored circle around light sources with evident vision loss. The sore eye is red and hard. It is an emergency that needs immediate attention.

In closed-angle glaucoma, symptoms often appear when the ambient light is low (evening, at a show, etc.), when the pupils dilate. Older people are at greater risk for this type of glaucoma. Closed-angle glaucoma requires immediate attention. If left untreated, the sudden and severe increase in pressure (eye pressure) in the affected eye can cause irreversible eye damage within a few hours.

Open-angle glaucoma often affects both eyes unequally. One eye is less affected than the other and compensates for the loss of vision that delays diagnosis. Rarely, a person may experience dull pain (a feeling of pressure in the eyes), tearing, and headaches. Visual signs of advanced glaucoma appear after a few years. While the patient experiences loss of vision around the visual field, central vision (the vision that allows reading, writing and recognizing faces) remains normal for a long time. This is called tubular vision (the feeling of looking through a tube).

The 5 most common symptoms in glaucoma

– Pain in or behind the eyeball,

– Headache

– Pressure in the eyeball sensation

– Narrowing of vision,

– Unknown discomfort in the eyes.

Whatever the cause, glaucoma progresses by disrupting the tissue of the border fibers that connect the retinal cells to the brain due to the high pressure. In the current state of medicine, it is not possible to repair the damage to the border fibers. Therefore, the earlier the treatment begins, the better.


There is a genetic predisposition to glaucoma. This genetic predisposition is multifactorial; Conditions of the anterior chamber of the eye, severe myopia, high cholesterol and predisposition to cardiovascular diseases should be considered.

In addition to those with a family history of glaucoma, some individuals have a higher risk of developing chronic glaucoma. People with high eye pressure; People over the age of 60, people with diabetes, hypertension or cardiovascular diseases, myopia, those with hypothyroidism, individuals with eye injury or significant eye infection (uveitis), smokers, long-term eye drops, and people with thin corneas are at higher risk of developing glaucoma. .

Prevention of glaucoma relies on early detection of a possible increase in intraocular pressure and all measures to prevent cardiovascular disease. So, a stable diet, regular physical activity and smoking cessation are essential. In addition, preventing accidents affecting the eyes reduces the risk of developing glaucoma.

Individuals with a family history of glaucoma or people with other risk factors should have their eye pressure measured every 2 to 3 years from the age of 40. It is assumed that 1 percent of people over the age of 40 have unusually high eye pressure.


Glaucoma treatment aims to lower the pressure inside the eye. If the damage has reduced the patient’s field of vision, treatments will not restore lost vision. They only aim to stop the progression of glaucoma and vision loss.

In the case of open-angle glaucoma, treatment with eye drops aims to keep the intraocular pressure below a certain threshold to stop the progression of the disease. In order to prevent vision loss, it is necessary to fully comply with the treatment. If eye drops cannot adequately control the intraocular pressure, laser treatment or surgery can be performed.

Glaucoma treatment is mostly based on the administration of systemic eye drops. Treatment should be followed throughout the patient’s life. When starting treatment, eye pressure is measured frequently. Subsequently, measurements are made every 2 to 6 months, depending on the situation.