For many people, glaucoma is a silent disease, one that is often not detectable until it is far advanced. Glaucoma means that you have high pressure in your eye, which can lead to permanent vision loss if it goes untreated. The condition is easily controlled, but you can experience some difficulties as a result of having it. When you develop glaucoma, you need to understand the possible symptoms.
Many glaucoma sufferers drive just fine. In some cases, however, you can lose some peripheral vision and occasionally center vision, which can make it difficult to function, much less to drive. However, even milder glaucoma can make driving difficult. You may experience light sensitivity due either to the condition or the medication that you take for it. You may also experience glare, meaning oncoming headlights or simple sunshine can impair your ability to see. Experts recommend wearing tinted glasses or inserts if your difficulties occur most often with day driving. If you have poor night vision, you should limit your time on the road after the sun sets. Let your partner or friend drive whenever possible when light conditions are less than ideal. Thousands of people with glaucoma drive safely while undergoing treatment for the condition. If you experience difficulties, consult with your ophthalmologist to see if a different course of treatment would be helpful.
When you have glaucoma, your chances for other eye conditions may be heightened. A detached retina is a good example of this tendency. If you have other conditions such as nearsightedness or have had cataracts, your risk is even higher. Although many people naturally have floaters, those little squigglies in your eye, a sudden increase in them can signal a problem with your retina. Other signs of a retinal detachment include flashing lights and a "curtain effect" on your vision. If you notice any of these symptoms, you need to inform your eye doctor. When you have glaucoma, extra vigilance is necessary to protect your vision.
When caught early and treated properly, glaucoma does not have to ruin your vision. In fact, you can have glaucoma and experience few or no symptoms. You do need to monitor your own driving carefully since you may have issues with glare at night. Also, you should be on the lookout for any other vision symptoms since you are more likely to develop issues such as retinal detachment. Glaucoma does not have to make your life more difficult, especially if you are vigilant.