Dr. Jim Martin 01/05/2016

waiting_room.jpgGlaucoma is a degenerative eye disease that affects three million Americans, though only about half of them know it. The worst part is that number continues to grow as the at-risk population continues to increase. Do you know if you are at risk of developing glaucoma? Knowing who is at risk for this terrible disease can help reduce the numbers affected.

Easy To Detect Risk Factors

People who are over age 60 have a higher chance of developing glaucoma. The older a person gets, the higher the chances of it happening are.

Those who have African, Asian or Hispanic ancestry are also at higher risk of developing glaucoma. Asians, in particular, are at higher risk of developing angle closure glaucoma, while those of Japanese descent have a higher risk of developing low tension glaucoma.

Having certain medical conditions makes a person more likely to develop this eye condition. Particularly, those who have any of the following: heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, or sickle cell anemia. In fact, just about any medical condition that affects the entire body can increase the chances of developing glaucoma. People who have migraines are also vulnerable.

Taking corticosteroid medications for a long time can also leave a person at a higher risk. This is especially true with the use of corticosteroid eyedrops.

Having certain eye conditions like nearsightedness, farsightedness or myopia also makes you a candidate for developing this eye condition. Anyone who has corneas that are thinner-than-normal in the center is also vulnerable. Those who have suffered an eye injury can be at a higher risk.

Some Risk Factors Are Not So Obvious

Having a high internal eye pressure, also known as intraocular pressure, also puts you at a higher risk. The only way this can be detected is with a comprehensive eye exam done by an eye doctor.

If your family has a history of developing glaucoma, you are at higher risk. This is especially true with first-degree relatives (parents, siblings or children). It is important to know what medical conditions your family has dealt with so you can alert your eye doctor of those facts.

Finding Out Your Risk

If you are not sure of your risk level for developing glaucoma, you need to speak with an eye doctor about it. Knowing you are in a high risk group will tell you how often you should have an eye exam and whether you are in the early stages or not. The doctors at Broome Optical can help. Give us a call today to set an appointment.

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