As the second-leading cause of blindness, glaucoma is an insidious disease that often develops imperceptibly. The term “glaucoma” refers to a number of eye conditions that are linked to high pressure within the eye and that affect the optic nerve, gradually leading to vision loss if left untreated. Here are a few of the factors that can increase a person’s risk of glaucoma:
Beginning at age 40, the older a person is, the greater his or her likelihood of developing glaucoma. The risk of glaucoma rises to six times the average for people over 60.
Your risk of glaucoma is greatly increased if you have immediate family with the condition. In addition, African-Americans are six to eight times more likely to develop glaucoma than are Caucasians, and people of Hispanic and Asian descent are also at higher risk.
Traumatic glaucoma, caused by a buildup of intraocular fluid due to a blunt-force injury, can develop soon after trauma occurs, or many years later. Athletes who do not wear eye protection have an elevated risk of such injuries.
Diabetes is linked with the most common form of glaucoma. Diabetics are twice as likely to develop the condition, and those with glaucoma have an increased risk of developing diabetes.
High Intraocular Pressure
While not everyone with elevated eye pressure is destined to develop glaucoma, high intraocular pressure can damage the optic nerve.
If any of these traits apply to you, or if you are concerned about vision loss or eye pain, be sure to visit Eye Care Associates of St. Louis. Our doctors can halt the progression of glaucoma using medication, selective laser trabeculoplasty, and eye surgery, if necessary. Call (314) 863-4200 today to schedule a consultation or a preventative checkup.