Understanding The Risk Factors For Glaucoma

Although it is possible to receive a glaucoma diagnosis even without any identifiable risk factors, there are some key factors that will increase your risk of the condition. Recognizing your risk factors may help you to be more attentive to your vision and your overall health. The sooner you identify symptoms, the easier it will be to address it early. Here are a few common risk factors for glaucoma.

Family History

Glaucoma can be a hereditary condition. If anyone in your family has been diagnosed with glaucoma, that means you're at greater risk of developing the condition as well. It doesn't guarantee that you're going to, but it makes it more likely.

Your Age

Age is another risk factor. The older you get, the greater your risk is. This is why glaucoma is a common diagnosis for elderly individuals.

Elevated Intraocular Pressure

If you have any other risk factors of developing glaucoma, your eye doctor will monitor your intraocular pressure at every appointment. Higher pressure readings can increase your risk, so it is important to identify early. Your eye doctor may prescribe a series of eye drops to help reduce that pressure if he or she is concerned about its effects.

Thin Cornea

People who have thin corneas may also be more likely to develop eye conditions like glaucoma. Your eye doctor will likely evaluate the thickness of your cornea at your first appointment to help determine your risk.

Medical Conditions

Medical conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes and conditions requiring steroid use can all put your vision and your eye health at risk. In addition, some patients with anemia or a history of shock suffer damages that can increase their risk. Patients who have been diagnosed with cardiovascular diseases, obesity or difficulties with blood flow are sometimes at higher risk of many vision problems.

Vision Problems

Patients who have been diagnosed with myopia or hyperopia, often referred to as near-sighted and far-sighted vision should also be attentive to the early warning signs. If you've ever had eye surgery due to a vision problem, any complications or impaired drainage can lead to increased risk factors for many visual problems, including glaucoma and general vision loss.

Understanding some of the most common risk factors will help you determine whether you should be more attentive to your eye care. If you're unsure, talk with your eye doctor or Country Hills Eye Center about routine glaucoma screenings and your other vision care needs.