Glaucoma is one of the most destructive of all eye diseases, accounting for more than 120,000 cases of blindness in the United States alone according to the National Institutes of Health. Worldwide, it is second only to cataracts as a cause of blindness. While the disease can effectively be managed, it cannot currently be cured.
Unfortunately, glaucoma is also one of the most insidious of all diseases â€“ not just eye diseases, but all diseases. In many cases, glaucoma produces no obvious symptoms until irreparable damage has already been done. For this reason, glaucoma has been branded the silent thief of sight.
If you are aware of the risk factors for glaucoma, however, you can take measures to stop that thief in its tracks. By undergoing routine glaucoma screenings, you can help to ensure that the condition is diagnosed in its earliest stages, when it is easiest to control. When patients begin managing their glaucoma early in its development, they dramatically improve the chances that they will be able to preserve their vision for many years, and possibly even the rest of their lives.
At North County Laser Eye Associates, our team of eye care experts encourages people to know whether they are at increased risk for glaucoma and to have their eyes screened regularly if they are. We invite you to read the following glaucoma risk factors provided by our San Diego, CA eye doctors and then contact North County Laser Eye Associates to schedule your comprehensive eye examination today.
What Are the Risk Factors for Glaucoma?
First, let’s make clear that everyone is at risk for glaucoma. Glaucoma can affect people of all ages, of all ethnicities, of either gender, at any time. Indeed, people can even be born with glaucoma. The disease does not discriminate.
However, there are factors that could increase your risk for developing glaucoma. In isolation, any of these factors may increase your risk only somewhat. The more of these factors that apply to you, the more at risk you are to develop glaucoma. You should definitely be vigilant about having your eyes screened regularly if any of these factors apply to you:
- You are over the age of 60.
- You have a family history of glaucoma.
- You have high intraocular pressure.
- You are diabetic.
- You are of African, Asian, or Hispanic heritage.
- You are farsighted or nearsighted, particularly if you are severely so.
- You use steroids, especially in the form of eye drops.
- You have high blood pressure.
- You have particularly thin corneas.
- You have suffered trauma to the eye.
- You suffer chronic migraines.
- You have heart disease.
- You have sickle cell anemia.
- You have previously undergone eye surgery.
If any of these factors apply to you, you should be aware of your risk for glaucoma. However, you will not necessarily develop the disease. Healthy lifestyle habits and routine eye exams can help to minimize your risk.
Learn More about Glaucoma Risk Factors
To learn more about glaucoma risk factors, please contact North County Laser Eye Associates today.