An In-Depth Look at the Risk Factors Associated with Glaucoma

Glaucoma is estimated to affect as many as three million people in the United States alone. Unfortunately, glaucoma is one of the leading causes of vision loss. Here is a look at some of the primary risk factors of glaucoma to get to know.

Age

Glaucoma is known to affect people no matter their age. However, open-angle glaucoma is more related to age; it tends to be more of a risk the older you get and is more prevalent in people over the age of 60. As you get older, the optic nerve can be more vulnerable to problems that lead to glaucoma.

Ethnicity

Individuals who are of African or Latino descent may be at an increased risk of glaucoma. While people of all ethnicities can have glaucoma, individuals from these groups should be even more vigilant about monitoring for symptoms and having periodic screenings with an eye doctor.

Family History

While glaucoma is not necessarily considered a genetic eye disease, there may be a slightly elevated risk if a member of your immediate family has been diagnosed. Genetic factors seem to play a role in most forms of glaucoma. If one of your parents, a sibling, or even a grandparent was diagnosed, be on the lookout for symptoms with your own vision.

Lifestyle

Certain lifestyle factors can heighten your risks of glaucoma, such as:

  • Leading a sedentary lifestyle
  • Not eating a nutritious, well-balanced diet
  • Smoking or being around secondhand smoke

If you believe you are at risk of glaucoma already due to other factors, making lifestyle changes to lower your risks can be even more important.

Talk to an Eye Doctor in Wilmington About Glaucoma

While glaucoma can be a worrisome eye health condition, proactive treatment can make a big difference in the effect on your visual capabilities. If you believe you are at high risk of glaucoma, reach out to us at the Paul Vision Institute in Wilmington, NC to schedule an appointment.

Clearing the Fog: Myths About Glaucoma

Glaucoma is widely recognized in optometry as the top cause of blindness, and this condition is common in the United States with more than three million sufferers. In order to better understand glaucoma as a major eye health condition, it is important that you are not misled by myths and misunderstandings.

Myth: Glaucoma only affects people of certain ethnic groups.

While it is true that glaucoma can be more prevalent among African Americans and Hispanic Americans, the condition can affect anyone. If you are of African or Hispanic ethnicity, it is a good idea to work closely with your eye doctor to monitor for problems, but everyone should discuss their individual risks with an eye doctor regardless of ethnicity.

Myth: Blindness caused by glaucoma can be reversed.

Even though there are treatments available that can potentially slow the progression of glaucoma, there is no cure, and, unfortunately, blindness related to glaucoma is not something that is reversible. This is why it is so critical to be vigilant about your eye health and regular eye exams if you believe you could be at risk.

Myth: You can’t get glaucoma if you don’t smoke.

It is no secret that people who smoke are at a heightened risk of glaucoma. However, it is a common myth that if you do not smoke or you are no around people who do smoke, you can’t get glaucoma. Even though smoking and glaucoma are obviously related, other factors contribute to the development of eye disease as well. A few other factors can include genetics, age, and even a history of taking certain types of medications. Therefore, you can be at risk of glaucoma development even if you have never been a smoker.

Schedule an Appointment with a Wilmington Eye doctor

Your vision means a lot to your quality of life, so anything that poses a threat cannot be ignored. Reach out to us at the Paul Vision Institute in Wilmington, NC if you would like to talk more about your risks of developing glaucoma.