Are You at Risk For Glaucoma? Top 5 Risk Factors

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  • Written By: Horizon Health
Are You at Risk For Glaucoma? Top 5 Risk Factors

More than 3 million Americans are living with the sight-stealing eye disease known as glaucoma, and more than half are unaware they have the disease.

Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness in the United States. It is the second leading cause of blindness in the world, behind cataracts. Even though there’s no cure for this eye degenerating disease, it’s important to receive treatment early to minimize the risk of complete vision loss.

Living a healthy and active lifestyle, as well as receiving regular eye exams, can help reduce the risk of eye problems and potentially enable you to maintain healthy vision throughout your life. While anyone can develop glaucoma, it’s important to know the risk factors of the disease and if you’re at an increased risk.

eye exam

1. Age 40 or Older

Glaucoma can start affecting individuals as early as age 40, making age a definite risk factor for developing the disease. It is recommended that anyone over age 40 receive a regular eye exam once per year, and that anyone over age 65 get their eyes checked twice a year if they have any other eye problems.

2. Family History

Like with many diseases and afflictions, individuals might also be at a higher risk for glaucoma if other family members have had the eye disease. It is best to have an eye exam once a year if other family members also have eye problems.

3. Heritage

According to Prevent Blindness, African-Americans age 40 and over are up to five times more likely to develop glaucoma than other races. Studies have also shown that individuals of Asian and Hispanic ancestries are at a higher risk for glaucoma than others.

4. Serious Medical Conditions

Individuals who have been diagnosed with serious health conditions, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or heart disease, are at a greater risk of developing glaucoma. Many of these medical conditions are related to your family medical history as well. You’re more likely to develop high blood pressure if other family members have the disease.

If you’ve previously experienced eye pressure or sustained an eye trauma you may be at risk for developing glaucoma.

For more information about glaucoma and the signs and symptoms of the disease, contact your healthcare provider. If you are at a high risk of developing glaucoma and would like to schedule an eye exam in Paris, Ill., contact Dr. Deranian, visiting ophthalmologist, at (217) 233-3101. We offer consultations and treatment for various eye conditions to help maintain your eye health.