Glaucoma is a group of eye disorders that are caused by excessive pressure inside the eye. This pressure damages the optic nerve, which transfers visual information from the retina to the brain. Cataracts, on the other hand, are caused by the clouding of the lens of the eye, directly behind the pupil.
Both glaucoma and cataracts can cause severe vision loss. Depending on the severity of the condition and the patient’s age, the treatment options may vary. The goal of treatment is to prevent further damage and preserve vision. Treatments for glaucoma and cataracts usually consist of eye drops and various surgeries. Some treatments are minimally invasive, such as laser surgery or micro-incision keratoplasty (MIGS), while more invasive procedures may be necessary for advanced cases.
Glaucoma and cataracts share several symptoms, but a proper eye examination can help distinguish between the two conditions. The doctor may dilate the pupil and test the eye pressure to determine the underlying cause. Once the underlying cause is established, a proper treatment can be instituted.
Cataracts are an inevitable part of aging, although they can also develop after trauma to the eye. Some risk factors for developing cataracts include diabetes, smoking, and family history. Early symptoms of glaucoma and cataracts are similar and overlap in nature, making it difficult for doctors to tell the difference between the two.
Cataracts are the more common of the two eye conditions. Cataracts typically cause a cloudy lens. Cataracts are typically asymptomatic until damage to the optic nerve has occurred. However, the first symptom of glaucoma is loss of peripheral vision. Other symptoms include intense eye pain, blurred vision, and halos around lights.
Both conditions can cause vision loss and are associated with high eye pressure. Detecting them early is key to preserving your vision. Glaucoma can be prevented with early diagnosis and treatment. If you notice changes in your vision, it’s time to schedule an appointment.
Cataracts can lead to loss of peripheral vision. They can cause night vision problems and can also lead to halos around bright lights. Advanced glaucoma can also lead to impaired vision. Cataracts can also lead to blurred vision, making it more difficult to drive or use your phone.
There are several treatments for glaucoma and cataracts. Cataract surgery removes the clouded lens and restores vision. In some cases, the surgery can also include reshaping the eye. The National Eye Institute recommends three types of surgery for glaucoma.
While neither of these eye diseases has a visible symptom, both may cause vision loss if left untreated. Regular eye examinations and treatments can prevent or slow the progression of the disease.