DO GLAUCOMA HAVE SYMPTOMS ?
is a disease that destroy optic nerve fibers and certain visual functional losses
occur relatively to the severity of the damage. Because of the very slowly pregression
of the disease, most of the patients do not realize the symptoms and its changes
except in the smaller group with active progression which mostly occur in the
younger and normal tension group. The visual functional losses in glaucoma is
the symptom of optic nerve dysfunction.
Glaucoma patients should aware of these symptoms which indicate the
active and advancing of the disease.
1. Light Brightness Sensitivity
As time pass by, lights look dimmer as if it had been turned down.
2. Dark adaptation
It is the eye's ability to adjust its sensitivity to the actual brightness. Whenever a dark room or a tunnel is entered, after a few minutes, the darkness seems less complete and objects are easier to discern than when the darkness was first entered.
In active progressive glaucoma patients, dark adaptation is severely impaired and characterized by " night blindness "
3. Color vision
This acquired color vision defects can precede the classical visual field defects by several years. It is usually associated with diffuse visual field loss. Colored object look drab or washed-out.The patients have difficulty to identify the exact color such as when buying clothes. When reading, the black print will change into a lighter shade of grey.
4. Contrast sensitivity
It is the ability to discriminate between various shades of brightness. Certain diseases reduce this sensitivity, for example, diabetes mellitus and glaucoma. Just as with problems of color vision, this disturbance occur primarily in cases where there is diffuse visual field loss. Under certain circumstances, such as reading with insufficient illumination, the glaucoma patient will have more difficulties than a healthy person. This is why glaucoma patients prefer to read with all the lights turned on.
This is the reason to explain why glaucoma patients ( with color vision defect and reduced contrast sensitivity ) do have difficulties in reading, writing and doing computer work.
Retinal nerve cells do not just report to the brain how bright its field of perception is, but rather how bright it is in relation to the surroundings. This information is the result of many enhancements and inhibitions. If this process is impaired and particularly when the mechanisms of inhibition are not adequately functioning, the subjective perception of light increases and the patient is blinded ( cannot tolerate to the bright light ) Abnormal sensitivity to light is a symptom of several retinal diseases and may be due to Advanced Glaucomatous Damage
This is a typical example of a glaucoma patient who is in active progression
" I have moderately advanced glaucoma. I was diagnosed about three years ago. In the last year or so, I notice a fog-like mist within my visual field most of the time. Occasionally, it is not there. I have noticed that after a short nap, my vision will lack the fog upon awakening, but it soon returns. Also, for about the last six months when I read, the black print will change into a light shade of gray. I can often bring it back to black by blinking or looking away and then back; but it will fade out again. Is the fog-like vision and black type to faint gray typical for others with glaucoma ? "
The symptoms are very very helpful to find out and having early diagnosis of Glaucoma patients especially in the younger and normal tension group, instead of the late diagnosis with advanced permanent loss of nerve fibers and ganglion cells.
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