Glaucoma is the leading cause of preventable blindness worldwide. Many of those with glaucoma are unaware that they have it until they start having changes in their vision. There are factors that put certain individuals at a higher risk for glaucoma. “Patients who are at a higher risk for glaucoma because of specific factors such as race or family history are categorized as glaucoma suspects,” says Dr. Samuel Solish, Glaucoma specialist at Eyecare Medical Group in Portland, ME. These individuals who are at a higher risk for glaucoma are screened on a regular basis for the possibility of glaucoma. These screenings should be every 1-2 years, and should include a dilated eye exam.
RISK FACTORS FOR GLAUCOMA
Race: African Americans are at a much higher risk of developing glaucoma than Caucasians; up to 5 times the risk of Caucasians, according to some studies.
Increased IOP: High intraocular pressure (IOP) is a strong risk factor for glaucoma; however, it is important to note that not everyone with increased IOP develops glaucoma
Family History: Having a first degree relative, such as a parent or a sibling, with glaucoma increases your chances of developing the disease.
Age: Those over 60 are at an increased risk of developing glaucoma.
Myopia: Nearsighted patients are at a higher risk for glaucoma; particularly those with moderate to high myopia.
Medical Conditions: Other chronic conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, put patients at a higher risk for developing glaucoma, as do other eye diseases and surgeries.
If you are at an increased risk for developing Glaucoma and have not had a dilated exam, contact Eyecare Medical Group at 1-888-374-2020 to schedule an exam.