Top Risk Factors for Glaucoma
Developing glaucoma can be a very scary and debilitating process, which can lead to loss of vision if it is not identified early enough. Whilst it is most common in adults aged 70 and over, glaucoma can affect younger people too. Therefore, to ensure that it can be recognized early enough to treat, it helps to raise awareness of the risk factors associated with developing glaucoma.
There are no symptoms in its earliest stages, which makes it even harder to diagnose but you can reduce the likelihood of it developing by understanding the top risk factors and taking swift action. Top risk factors and indicators to look out include:
- People aged 40 and over are a higher risk
- If there is a family history of glaucoma
- High blood pressure
- Diabetes can increase the chances of glaucoma
- Injuries to the eye can also lead to glaucoma
- People with eyesight conditions such as high myopia is another high-risk category
- People from Afro-Caribbean descent are also at greater risk
If you think that you may be at risk, then the earlier that you take action, the better. Once glaucoma starts to develop further, it is harder to treat. Due to the lack of symptoms, people can suffer significant vision loss (up to 40%) before the condition is successfully diagnosed. Any lost vision cannot be restored, so early diagnosis and swift treatment are imperative.
The good news is that when it is discovered at an early stage, glaucoma can usually be managed with eye drops and significant vision loss can be prevented in 90% of early diagnoses.
Glaucoma is a complex condition and is not just caused by high eye pressure. If you like to find out more about what glaucoma is visit this link: https://www.optometrists.co.uk/Eye_Conditions/Glaucoma/
Ways to help prevent glaucoma
Keeping a good general physical well-being can help to prevent glaucoma. So, doing regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight is beneficial. Smoking has been linked to glaucoma so not smoking, or giving up smoking if you do smoke, is a good idea.
Buchanan Optometrists offer a glaucoma Ultimate Ophthalmic examination which can offer an early diagnosis as well as assessing your risk and monitoring the condition. Alisdair Buchanan explains the best way to detect tiny changes to your optic nerves is through Heidelberg OCT GMPE scanning and assessment by an experienced optometrist. 'A 4D scan (very different to the retinal photographs most opticians offer) can detect changes as small as 1000th of a mm. Far smaller than a human eye can ever detect. Using this technology we can now detect glaucoma up to 8 years sooner than standard eye tests.’
This advance examination lasts approximately 90 minutes and is recommended for everyone, but if any of the high-risk factors apply, then this is even more important to do on a regular basis.
If you would like to ensure any signs of glaucoma are detected early, then book a Glaucoma Ultimate Ophthalmic Examination today by calling us on 01634 757227.