Glaucoma is a common eye disease when left untreated can lead to blindness. If you have a family history of this condition, you do have an increased risk of developing it, too. Some genetic studies suggest that more than half of cases are inherited.
Consider these facts:
- Your risk is 10 times higher if you have a sibling with the condition
- 15 percent of glaucoma patients have one or more siblings who have the condition who may not be aware of it
- Anyone who is a blood relative of someone with this condition is at increased risk of developing it
Additional Factors That Further Increase Your Risk
There is no exact known cause for why some individuals develop glaucoma and others do not. However, in addition to its increased familial risk, your risk increases if you:
- Are an African American over the age of 40 or Hispanic over the age of 60
- Suffer from chronic eye inflammation
- Have diabetes, high blood pressure or hardening of the arteries
- Take medications, including corticosteroids that increase the pressure in your eyes
- Have had a physical injury to your eye, including blunt trauma, retinal detachment, or eye tumor
- Are nearsighted or have certain eye anatomy issues like optic nerve sensitivity or thinner corneas
Prevention is the Key
If you know you are at risk for developing glaucoma, your best defense is to not skip your yearly comprehensive eye exam at Valley Eyecare Center. During your exam, our eye care professionals will test for the condition. The earlier that you know you have it and begin treatment, the better the outcome. Call us at (602) 955-2700 or schedule your exam online for either one of our two locations in Phoenix.