During a comprehensive eye exam, your eye doctor will look for signs of eye disease. One such disease is glaucoma. If left untreated, it can lead to blindness. Some people are more predisposed to developing it than others. Therefore, knowing your risk factors is the first step to protecting your eyesight.

Your Age is a Factor

If you are over the age of 60, you risk increases for this disease. Your risk will slightly increase slightly each year. If you are African-American, your risk begins to increase when you turn 40.

Heredity and Race Are Big Factors

If your grandparents, parents, or siblings have glaucoma, you are at an increased risk of developing it. Your race plays a part, too with African-Americans being at the highest risk. People of Asian or Native Alaskan descent are at a higher risk of developing angle-closure glaucoma, while those of Japanese descent are at higher risk of developing the low-tension type.

Your Health and Medications Are Factors

Certain medical conditions like heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes increases your risk of developing the condition. If you take corticosteroids for a prolonged period, like prednisone, cortisone, or hydrocortisone to treat various conditions, including COPD, you are at a higher risk, too.

Eye Injuries and Eye-Related Risk Factors

If you have experienced injuries to your eye in the past that caused your eye pressure to increase or caused damage to your eye, you could be at risk of glaucoma. Your eye anatomy also is a factor, like optic nerve sensitivity or thinner corneas. It has even been suggested that people who are extremely nearsighted may be at increased risk.

Don’t Skip Your Yearly Eye Exam

The key to preventing vision loss is knowing your risks for glaucoma and discussing them with your eye doctor. A yearly comprehensive eye exam is crucial to detecting this eye disease so that it can be treated as early as possible. Contact Valley Eyecare Center at (602) 955-2700 or schedule your eye exam online.