Each year, people make their annual visit to the eye doctor only to get some rather serious news: They have glaucoma. When they first hear the diagnosis, they may not understand what it means, but after listening to the ophthalmologist say things like “blindness,” they start to pay attention. Glaucoma is a degenerative disease that affects the optical nerve, causing it to malfunction. This degeneration is the number one cause of blindness every year. Would you know the signs of glaucoma? Here are seven signs that you should go see your eye doctor immediately.

1. You Develop a Sudden Onset of Severe Eye Pain

Every now and then you may experience a sharp pain in your eye that usually goes away fairly quickly. However, if you experience sharp and intense pain that does not let up, you need to get to the doctor soon. It may be a sign that the glaucoma is attacking the optical nerve or that the fluid buildup that is a hallmark of the disease is peaking. The pressure behind your eye needs to be checked by a trained ophthalmologist like Rohit Varma.

2. You See Rings or Halos Around Lights

Staring up at a light fixture in your home has never looked this unusual, but these days there appears to be something different. When you ask others in your home if they see the ring around the light, they claim they don’t. A halo encircling lights is a sign that you have glaucoma.

3. You Lose Side Vision

Your peripheral vision is important as it allows you to see things coming up from the side and rear of you. If you suffer from glaucoma, you may suddenly lose this element of your eyesight. When you develop tunnel vision and can only see things directly in front, get it checked.

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4. Your Eyes Are Perpetually Red

An occasional bout of dry eyes can lead to redness, but if you notice that the red is not dissipating after a reasonable amount of time, it is a sign of something more serious. Glaucoma is a progressive disease that infects the eye. The redness may be a warning sign that there is an offensive mounting.

5. You Have Cloudy Eyes

You may wake up one day and feel like you’re in a fog. Everything is dull, and it seems like you are peering at the world through a white lens. Sudden development of a milky film over the eyes that can be seen by others is a dangerous sign.

6. You Have a Relentless Headache

You’ve probably had a severe headache now and then, but if you have glaucoma, your headaches may come on harsher than before. Regular medication may not do anything to dull the pain. If you experience something like this, go get checked out.

7. You Feel Sick and Get Sick

Nausea and vomiting can be signs of many things, such as a stomach bug or migraine. However, it can also signal glaucoma, especially with no other discernable symptoms (i.e., headaches, fever).

Glaucoma is not curable, but it is treatable, especially if caught in the early stages. To save your vision, you may want to remain vigilant and pay attention to what your body is alerting you to.