Are You at Risk for Glaucoma?
- Posted on: Nov 15 2012
While most folks have heard of glaucoma before, not everyone knows what this common eye condition is really all about – and, more importantly, most don’t know whether or not they’re at risk! An eye disorder characterized by a progressive, permanent loss of vision, glaucoma is a condition that affects well over two million Americans. That startling statistic comes from a recent report published by the Glaucoma Research Foundation. What’s more, the foundation goes on to explain some of the most common risk factors for developing glaucoma. Want to find out if you’re at risk?
Here are 4 risk factors for glaucoma, based on a report from the Glaucoma Research Foundation:
- Age: Age is one of the biggest risk factors when it comes to developing glaucoma. In fact, according to the GRF, those over the age of 60 are six times more likely to develop glaucoma.
- Heredity: If someone in your family was diagnosed with glaucoma, your chances of developing the condition are much higher. Make sure you check your family history and find out if you’re in this high-risk category.
- Race: When it comes to glaucoma, certain races and ethnic groups are at a higher risk for developing the condition – particularly African Americans. In fact, according to the GRF, “Glaucoma is six to eight times more common in African Americans than in Caucasians.”
- Certain Medications: Certain dosages of steroids – like those used in asthma inhalers – have been shown to put patients at a higher risk for developing glaucoma.
Of course, even with these risk factors in mind, it’s important to understand that everyone is ultimately at risk for developing glaucoma. This is best summed up by the GRF: “Everyone is at risk for glaucoma from babies to senior citizens.”
Routine Glaucoma Screenings
Since glaucoma will often not present symptoms until the condition is quite progressed, routine glaucoma screenings become essential. This is especially true for those at a higher risk for developing the condition. There are several different tests performed to diagnose glaucoma, including a visual field and a visual acuity test. These are intended to measure peripheral vision and how well a patient can see at various distances. Tonometry is also used to measure the pressure inside the eye.