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Understand Your Risk of Glaucoma with a Comprehensive Eye Exam

Glaucoma risk factors Ocean County, NJ

Glaucoma robs you of your vision before you even know you have the eye disease. Regular eye exams and understanding your risk level are crucial to maintaining good eye health and your entire field of vision. An estimated 50% of people with glaucoma don't know they have it, and with no cure, many people live with vision loss caused by the condition. Early detection can preserve your eyesight with comprehensive eye exams at InVision Eyecare Specialists in Ocean Country, New Jersey. 


Glaucoma is characterized by high intraocular eye pressure that damages the optic nerve, leading to irreversible vision loss. This eye disease is the second leading cause of blindness around the globe. January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month, and our experienced eye doctors want you to understand your risk factors. 


People Over Age 60 

Older adults are more likely to develop glaucoma, with a six-fold increase in risk of the eye disease in people over 60. 


Family History of Glaucoma

Open-angle glaucoma is the most common type of this eye disease, and it is hereditary. Talk to your immediate family members to learn about your family's history of eye diseases. You are four to nine times more likely to have glaucoma if you have an immediate family member with the condition. 


People with Diabetes 

Diabetes doubles the likelihood of glaucoma development, especially if blood sugar is uncontrolled. Other medical conditions may also increase the risk of glaucoma, such as migraine disease, sickle cell anemia, and high blood pressure. 


African Americans Aged 40 and Older

African Americans who are 40 or older are six to eight times more likely to develop glaucoma than Caucasian people. This eye disease is the leading cause of blindness for the African American population, but it also affects people of Asian or Hispanic descent at higher rates. Hispanic men and women over age 60 are more at risk, and Asian people are more likely to have angle-closure glaucoma. People of Japanese descent are more at risk for normal-tension glaucoma. 


Previous Eye Injury 

Eye trauma can cause secondary open-angle glaucoma right away or years after the injury. Blunt eye injuries may bruise the eye, and penetrating eye injuries can damage the eye's drainage system, leading to traumatic glaucoma. Sports, such as baseball and boxing, are the most likely causes of injury-related glaucoma. 


Long-Term Steroid Use 

People who use steroids could have an increased risk (up to 40%) for ocular hypertension and open-angle glaucoma, especially if they are on a high dosage of steroid inhaler for asthma control (14-35 puffs a day). Long-term use of corticosteroids, including eye drops, can also increase the risk of glaucoma. 


Previous eye surgery, extreme farsightedness or nearsightedness, and a thin central cornea (less than .55 mm) are additional risk factors for glaucoma.


Schedule a Comprehensive Eye Exam to Discuss Your Glaucoma Risk Factors 

High-risk individuals need annual comprehensive dilated eye exams to discuss their risk factors and look for early signs of glaucoma and other eye diseases. Catching glaucoma in the beginning stages can prevent vision loss, and prescription eye drops can halt disease progression. Schedule a comprehensive dilated eye exam by the time you turn 40, even if you don't have these risk factors, because early detection preserves your eye health and eyesight.


Schedule an eye exam with one of our eye doctors at InVision Eyecare Specialists in Lakewood, Ocean County, and Monmouth County, New Jersey, by calling (732) 210-0140

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