Are You at Risk of Glaucoma? Find Out

ID-100147713Glaucoma if left untreated for long can lead to permanent visual problems including permanent loss of vision or blindness. Hence, it is important to diagnose and treat optimally glaucoma at the earliest. It is also important to find out if you have any risk factors for development of glaucoma, because the screening or regular eye testing recommendations (by The American Academy of Ophthalmology) are different if you have risk factors. It is important to know if you have any risk factors for glaucoma, because open angle glaucoma can cause destroy vision before diagnosis, as the disease progresses without any symptoms, until damage is significant.

The risk factors of development of glaucoma include:

  • Raised intra-ocular pressure (IOP): raised intra-ocular pressure is the most important risk factors of glaucoma and visual problems. However all individuals with high intra-ocular pressure do not develop glaucoma
  • Age: glaucoma is usually seen among individuals above 40 years of age. It is very common after age of 60 years. Glaucoma is less common in younger individuals. Glaucoma is very common after 80 years of age, affecting 1 in every 10 individuals above 80 years
  • Family history of glaucoma: a positive family history of glaucoma is an important risk factor. The genetic factor involved in development of juvenile open-angle glaucoma is linked to genetic abnormality.
  • Ethnicity: some ethnic groups are at greater risk of developing glaucoma, in compare to other groups. In the US, glaucoma is more common among African Americans in compare to Whites or Caucasians. East Asians are also at higher risk of glaucoma than others are.
  • Medications: various medications can increase risk of development of glaucoma, such as medications used for diabetes, hypothyroidism (thyroxin), medications for hypertension, heart disease etc. Corticosteroids use for long term is a risk factor for glaucoma. Consult your doctor if you are taking any of these medications
  • Other eye diseases: if you have other eye problems, you are at greater risk of developing glaucoma. Injury to eye(s) can cause raised intra-ocular pressure and glaucoma. Eye surgery (for any cause), lens dislocation, retinal detachment, as well as certain eye surgeries can increase risk of development of glaucoma.
  • If you use glasses for nearsightedness (myopia) or farsightedness, you are at risk of development of glaucoma.

Find out if you have any risk factors of development of glaucoma. If you have any risk factor(s), it is time to take preventive measures for glaucoma, including regular/yearly eye check ups.

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