Understanding Your Glaucoma Risk Factors
Glaucoma is a general term for a group of eye conditions that damage the optic nerve. The optic nerve is essential for transmitting information from between your eye and your brain. A damaged optic nerve can lead to vision loss and eventual blindness. Glaucoma’s symptoms are often so gradual that they aren’t caught until patients are experiencing moderate to severe visual impairment.
However, routine eye examinations are the best way to catch glaucoma in its early stages. Understanding your glaucoma risk factors is an important part of seeking appropriate glaucoma treatment.
Family History of Glaucoma
Having a family history of glaucoma puts you at a higher risk of developing it. This could be because of genetic factors that affect the eye or a family history of medical conditions that can lead to glaucoma.
Certain Medical Conditions
Glaucoma is often caused by increased pressure inside the eyes. Certain medical conditions can raise the pressure in the eyes and increase your risk of developing glaucoma. High blood pressure can increase the pressure in the eyes, diabetes can prevent fluid from draining out of the eyes and increase pressure, and sickle cell anemia can cause a blood cell obstruction and increase pressure. It’s important to talk to your doctor to see if your medical conditions put you at a higher risk of glaucoma.
Corticosteroid medications, including steroid eye drops, increase the risk of developing “steroid-induced” glaucoma. The use of certain steroids has been shown to increase the pressure in the eyes, and long-term use increases your chance of developing glaucoma.
The corneas of your eyes are the thin, dome-shaped outer layer of your eyes that help you focus your vision. Certain things like inflammation, atopic eye disease, asthma, or keratoconus can cause the corneas to thin and become weak. Thin corneas increase the pressure inside the eyes and raise your chances of developing glaucoma.
Glaucoma Treatment in Chicago, IL
The most effective form of glaucoma treatment takes place once it has been caught early through routine eye exams. Once glaucoma has been caught, our team at Millennium Park Eye Center in Chicago, IL, can provide comprehensive glaucoma treatment options to preserve your eyesight.
Our practice has provided patients with exceptional care for over 150 years with the highest standard of eye care and research. If you’re experiencing symptoms of glaucoma, contact our office at 312-996-2020 to schedule an appointment.