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Am I at Risk For Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a serious eye condition that damages your eye’s optic nerve. It tends to have a hereditary link, but may develop with other risk factors. If you develop glaucoma, you may lose some vision and can’t get it back. But, early detection means your glaucoma can be managed and existing vision preserved.

At South Rural Plains Health, the team evaluates your eye health and can detect glaucoma before symptoms and pain begins. A regular eye exam, especially if you’re at risk for glaucoma, is an essential part of your overall health maintenance. Truly, anyone can develop glaucoma, but you may wonder if you’re at special risk. The following can make it more likely that you develop glaucoma.

You’re of African, Hispanic, or Asian descent

Glaucoma is among the leading causes of blindness in African Americans. Asians are at increased risk for angle-closure glaucoma, a rarer form of the condition. Hispanics, especially those older than 60, are also at a greater risk than people of European ancestry.

You’re older than 60

In fact, start getting checked your eyes checked (if you haven’t already) when you’re 40 and every year thereafter. After age 60, you’re six times more likely to develop glaucoma.

You’ve had an eye injury

Eye injuries put you at risk of secondary open-angle glaucoma. You may build up the eye pressure right after the injury, or it could develop years later. Usually, these glaucoma-causing injuries occur in sports, such as boxing or baseball.

You have a family history

Open-angle glaucoma is the most common type of glaucoma, and it runs in families. If your parents or siblings have developed open-angle glaucoma, you have a four to nine times greater risk of developing it, too.

You’ve used steroids

Steroids aren’t just used to make you look bigger at the gym. This group of anti-inflammatory drugs may be used to treat eye conditions and other systemic inflammation. If you overuse eye drops containing steroids for the long-term, the side effects include the development of cataract and glaucoma according to recent research.

You have low blood pressure

If you have low blood pressure and elevated eye pressure, your body has trouble getting blood to your eye. Circulation in the eyes is essential to eye health because your eyes need the oxygen and nutrients. The doctors evaluate your blood pressure and the best steps in keeping it at a healthy enough level to not damage other systems in your body, but may want to encourage it to creep up slightly, so you can nourish your eyes.

You’re diabetic

Diabetics are twice as likely to develop open-angle glaucoma as non-diabetics. This may be due to the blood vessel damage that occurs with irregular blood sugar levels.

You should commit to regular eye exams and South Rural Plains Health can help. The optometry team evaluates your eyesight and determines if you’re at risk for glaucoma or other eye conditions. Early detection means a better chance of vision preservation and preserved quality of life. If you’re in the Levelland, Lamesa, Big Spring, Texas area, call the office or schedule your appointment online today.

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