Causes of glaucoma

This is a type of glaucoma where the drainage channels inside your eye are blocked or damaged in some way. This causes the pressure inside your eye to increase rapidly.

Symptoms of acute glaucoma

Sometimes the increased pressure can come and go, and some people get short bursts of pain or discomfort and blurred vision. This can happen when your pupil gets bigger so it may be at night or when you are in a dark area (like the cinema) or when you are reading. Other symptoms are an ache in the eye which comes and goes, red eyes, or seeing coloured rings around white lights, or it can be a bit like looking through a haze or mist.

If you get these symptoms it is important to act quickly, even if the symptoms appear to go away, as your vision may be damaged each time the symptoms occur.

If you have these symptoms but they have gone away, you should see your optometrist as soon as possible and mention that you have had these symptoms.  If you have these symptoms and they have not gone away, you should go to the Accident and Emergency department immediately so that the pain and the pressure in the eye can be relieved.

Because the early stages of glaucoma do not cause symptoms, the best way to catch it early is to have regular eye examinations.

Who is at risk of acute glaucoma?

  • people over 40
  • women
  • people of East Asian or South Asian origin
  • people with a family history of closed-angle glaucoma
  • people who are long-sighted.

More information

For more information for the different types of glaucoma, please visit