Who Is Likely To Develop Glaucoma? – 7 Common Risk Factors

Glaucoma is one of the major causes of blindness in the United States. Often, this concern results from increased pressure accumulation of fluid around one’s eye. The heightened pressure results in gradual damage to the optic nerve. Despite the high risk of causing peripheral vision loss and blindness, only a small percentage of people with prospect Lefferts gardens glaucoma know they have the condition. Although everybody is at risk, some individuals are more prone to suffer from this eye illness than others. However, if you stay mindful of the following risk factors, you can identify and treat the issue before it develops.

  1. Age

The significant risk factor for primary open-angle glaucoma is age. As you grow older, the eye’s drainage system does not function as effectively, and your eye pressure can progressively build up.

  1. Eye Pressure (Intraocular Pressure)

Another huge risk factor, though modifiable, is heightened eye pressure. Present therapies for all types of glaucoma concentrate on alleviating eye pressure via medicines, surgery, or laser. Although eye pressure is often associated with primary open-angle glaucoma, there is a form of glaucoma where eye pressure is not high, which many term low or normal-tension glaucoma. Nevertheless, even in persons with low or normal pressures, alleviating pressure also keeps the condition from worsening.

  1. Ethnicity and Race

The reason behind some races or ethnicities being susceptible to glaucoma is still unclear. Nonetheless, if you are Hispanic or African, studies show that you are at greater risk than other persons.

  1. Family History

Family history is a risk factor for glaucoma, particularly if it is a first-degree relative like a sibling or parent. Specialists advise anybody with glaucoma to advise their close relatives to undergo an eye exam to rule out the possibility of the condition.

  1. Corneal Thickness

Your eye’s anatomy could also influence your risk for glaucoma. For instance, your cornea’s thickness, the clear part of your eye, is assessed during an eye exam. You are at greater risk for glaucoma if you have a thin cornea.

  1. Myopia (Nearsightedness)

Patients with Myopia or Nearsightedness are also at greater risk of primary open-angle glaucoma. This issue might be associated with the fact that your optic disc has a varying shape or the nerve has heightened susceptibility to eye pressure, even when in the “normal” range. Patients with heightened “cupping” of their eye’s optic nerves are also susceptible to primary open-angle glaucoma.

  1. Diabetes and Hypertension

Diabetics or people with hypertension might also be vulnerable to primary open-angle glaucoma, but this connection is not as established as the other risk factors. Nevertheless, proper blood pressure and blood sugar control are paramount for cardiovascular and general wellness. 

On the other end, low blood pressure could also make you vulnerable to glaucoma. Your eye’s health requires adequate blood flow to the optic nerves. Therefore, if your blood pressure falls excessively low, you may be at increased risk of glaucoma.

There are numerous risk factors for glaucoma. While not all risk factors are avoidable, such as age, others, like high blood pressure and diabetes, are manageable. Besides, if you identify any of these risk factors, it does not automatically mean you will develop glaucoma. You should always seek a diagnosis from an eye specialist who will perform an extensive eye exam to determine the pressure level in your eyes. Once identified early enough, glaucoma is highly treatable, be it with medications, laser, or surgery to drain the excessive fluid accumulation.