Glaucoma Risk Factors

January 13, 2020

January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month. According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), glaucoma is the second-leading cause of blindness in the U.S. The most common form, primary open-angle glaucoma, is caused by an increased fluid pressure in the eye, leading to vision loss or even blindness.

The AOA has listed the following as factors that can increase your risk for developing glaucoma:

  • Age. If you are over the age of 60, you are at increased risk for the disease. There is also an increased risk after the age of 40 for African Americans.
  • Race. African American and HispanicĀ  populations are at greater risk than Caucasians for developing glaucoma and are more likely to develop permanent vision loss. There is an increased risk of angle-closure glaucoma for people of Asian descent and Native Alaskans and low-tension glaucoma for people of Japanese descent.
  • Family history of glaucoma. Let your provider know if there is a family history of glaucoma, as it can increase your risk.
  • Medical conditions. Conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, or diabetes have been shown to increase your risk of the disease.
  • Physical injuries to the eye. Experiencing eye trauma can cause immediate or future increase in eye pressure.
  • Other eye-related risk factors. A variety of eye conditions, such as thinner corneas, optic nerve sensitivity, retinal detachment, eye tumors, or eye inflammation, can cause an increased risk of glaucoma. There may also be an increased risk for those with extreme nearsightedness.
  • Corticosteroid use. Use of medicines such as cortisone, hydrocortisone, and prednisone for an extended use of time may put some people at risk for developing glaucoma.

Our team of Optometrists at the Midwestern University Eye Institute can screen for and help manage symptoms of glaucoma. In addition, we provide a wide range of detailed, comprehensive vision and ocular health services to meet the needs of your entire family, at affordable prices. For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact the Eye Institute in Downsers Grove, Illinois at 630-743-4500 or in Glendale, Arizona at 623-537-6000.

The information contained in this article is provided for informational purposes only and is not for use in diagnosing any condition. The information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, care, or treatment and does not establish a provider/patient relationship. Always consult your own physician or other qualified healthcare provider for any questions regarding any possible medical condition.

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