In our last blog, we dove into the details of angle-closure glaucoma and open-angle glaucoma, how it affects your sight, its symptoms, and available treatment options. Glaucoma is a very serious eye disease that can cause blindness if left untreated. Although there are several risk factors that are out of your control, we believe it’s important to know which factors contribute to the development of glaucoma and do your best to protect your eyes. Let’s dive into these risk factors and what you can do about it:
You are over 40 years old.
As years pass, you might notice your eyesight is not as good as it once was. We encourage you not to shrug this off, as it might be a sign of a serious eye condition. Once you turn 40 years old, the American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends having an eye exam every 2 – 4 years. As you get older, those screenings should become more regular.
You have a family history of glaucoma.
Not every disease that your parents or grandparents dealt with will be passed onto you, fortunately. But you likely have a higher risk of developing it! Knowledge provides an opportunity for you to make powerful decisions, so we encourage you to talk to your parents and grandparents about any current or past eye disease that is prevalent in your family. This information can aid your eye doctor when conducting your comprehensive eye exam.
You are of African or Hispanic descent.
Those who are of African or Hispanic descent have a higher risk of developing glaucoma. As with the age risk factor, visit your eye doctor regularly to have a glaucoma evaluation. This disease does not always show symptoms in its early stages, but catching it early is key to saving your vision!
You have suffered eye injuries.
If you have suffered trauma to your eyes or face, seek medical attention right away. Prompt medical treatment can drastically help your eye health. We highly recommend always protecting your eyes. For example, if you are a football player, wear a helmet with a visor. If you work around large machinery with moving parts, always wear safety glasses.
You have diabetes, migraines, or poor circulation.
If your primary doctor diagnoses you with diabetes, migraines, or poor circulation, it’s vital that you make lifestyle changes to eliminate these health issues. Your overall health directly affects your eye health. For example, diabetes can cause swelling in your eye’s macula which degrades your vision.