Who's at Risk for Glaucoma?

Who's at Risk for Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a group of eye disorders that affects more than three million people in the United States, placing them at risk for vision loss. As with most diseases, it’s important to understand the factors that may make you more vulnerable to developing glaucoma.

At Bellmawr Eye Care, our team prides itself on providing comprehensive eye care services for our patients, whether it’s to help them see more clearly or to monitor them for any potential problems. To help you preserve your vision long into the future, we feel that patient education plays a valuable role, which is why we’re outlining the risk factors for glaucoma here.

Glaucoma at a glance

The first point to understand about glaucoma is that it isn’t one specific disease, but a group of eye disorders that involve your optic nerve.

Of the different types of glaucoma, open-angle glaucoma is the most common — of the three million people with glaucoma, 2.7 million have this form of the disease.

With open-angle glaucoma, fluids don’t don’t drain properly from your eyes because of a blockage in your trabecular meshwork. As a result, fluid builds up and the pressure damages your optic nerve.

A lesser form of glaucoma is angle-closure glaucoma, which occurs when your iris bulges and blocks drainage. When angle-closure glaucoma comes on suddenly, it’s a medical emergency. 

Other forms of glaucoma include normal tension glaucoma (there’s no intraocular pressure), pigmentary glaucoma, and glaucoma in infants.

What makes glaucoma dangerous, namely open-angle glaucoma, is that you may not experience any symptoms until irreversible damage to your optic nerve has occurred, at which point you may experience an increasing loss of peripheral vision. 

It’s for this reason that we urge you to keep up with your regular eye exams with us, so that we can spot any brewing problems with the drainage in your eyes and subsequent pressure.

Risk factors for glaucoma

When it comes to risk factors for glaucoma, there are many, and they include:

We want to emphasize that the above list contains factors that place you more at risk for developing glaucoma, but it doesn’t mean this outcome is inevitable.

That said, if your risks for glaucoma are high, it’s especially important that you have us closely monitor the health of your eyes through regular eye exams.

To underscore the importance of preventive care, if we detect the early stages of glaucoma, we can take the necessary steps to slow its progression and prevent vision loss.

If you want to stay one step ahead of glaucoma, contact our office in Bellmawr, New Jersey, to schedule your eye exam.

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