Are there any symptoms of glaucoma?

Glaucoma is known as the “silent thief of vision” and is typically associated with painless and progressive loss of vision that may not produce any symptoms. Usually, peripheral vision is affected with relative sparing of central vision at early stages of disease, and when the disease gets to advanced stages, the central vision is more severely affected. Glaucoma patients may notice that they cannot see objects at their side (due to loss of peripheral visual field), but largely the patients are not able to detect any symptoms until a very advanced stage. Sometimes, patients may notice or describe that their vision has become foggy (see How does glaucoma evolve?).

Angle-closure glaucoma may be associated with redness, pain in the eye, headache, blurred vision and coloured haloes around light bulbs – acute angle closure attack presenting with quite high IOP levels (above 40 mmHg). However, most angle closure glaucoma cases evolve asymptomatically, as the clogging of the drain and IOP rise tend to occur in a slowly progressive way (see Angle closure glaucoma).

Non-specific vision symptoms may also be associated with glaucoma, like cloudy/foggy vision, glare, or needing more light to read.


World Glaucoma Association

Important message for glaucoma patients

It is important for you to get yourself regularly screened for glaucoma. If you have been diagnosed to have glaucoma, effective treatment options are now available and regular treatment and follow up can help you to preserve your vision for your lifetime, avoiding unnecessary fear of going blind.

You can live happily with glaucoma and enjoy an excellent quality of life, particularly if the disease is detected early and treated in time. Always remember that once you have glaucoma, you will have to be under the care of an eye doctor for the rest of your life.

There is a lot of research going on and new treatments may become available for glaucoma in the near future.

World Glaucoma Association