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Am I at Risk for Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a group of eye disorders that cause elevated eye pressure. Higher-than-normal intraocular eye pressure can lead to progressive damage of the optic nerve, which, left untreated, causes blindness. In fact, glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness for people over 60 years old. While everyone is at risk for glaucoma, some people are at higher risk than others. Are you in a high-risk category for developing glaucoma?

Dr. Sean Stevens and Dr. Tiffany Brawner, of ReVision Optix, the premier optometry practice in Simpsonville and Greenville, South Carolina, expertly diagnose and treat your eyes to help prevent or regulate glaucoma and its associated symptoms. Assess your risk factors below to determine if you need to schedule a glaucoma test and eye exam at our practice. 

Why everyone’s at risk for glaucoma

It seems odd to make a blanket statement that everyone is at risk for glaucoma, because when it comes to your eyes and overall health, risks typically aren’t universal. Because glaucoma has to do with the pressure in your eye, and everyone has a normal eye pressure that could fluctuate for a variety of reasons, everyone has a “normal” risk for glaucoma.  

Most people who are at higher risk for glaucoma fall into certain categories that increase their risk. For example, if you happen to have an optic nerve that is extra-sensitive to normal eye pressure, then you have a higher risk for developing glaucoma. Or, if you’re African American, you’re 6-8 times more likely to develop glaucoma than those of Caucasian descent. 

Risk factors for glaucoma

Other factors that put you into a higher-risk group for glaucoma include:

Additionally, if you have other health issues that affect your body as a whole, such as poor blood circulation, you have an increased risk for glaucoma. 

What to do if you’re in a high-risk category

Just because you find yourself in one or more of the higher-risk categories for developing glaucoma doesn’t necessarily mean you’re doomed to get it. It just means you need to get regular eye exams and glaucoma screenings so your doctor at ReVision Optix can develop an effective prevention and treatment plan. 

Many times, glaucoma has no warning signs, so regular eye exams allow your doctor to notice any changes to your vision and overall eye health. Part of your comprehensive eye exam at ReVision Optix includes glaucoma screenings. 

Glaucoma treatment

Once you lose vision from glaucoma, the condition is irreversible. But, blindness from glaucoma can usually be prevented with early diagnosis and intervention. If your doctor notices changes in your vision or signs of the early stages of glaucoma, they can develop a personalized treatment plan that helps slow the progression of vision loss, or even prevent it. 

With glaucoma and elevated eye pressure, you’ll most likely need treatment for the rest of your life. In the earliest stages of the condition, you may be able to regulate your eye pressure with oral medications, supplements, and a healthy lifestyle. 

Prescription eye drops can help lower intraocular eye pressure and improve how fluid drains from your eye to keep pressure from building up. For more severe cases, you may need a surgical procedure or laser therapy that helps drain the fluid from your eye to prevent buildup.

If you’re concerned about glaucoma, schedule an eye exam at our Simpsonville or Greenville offices. Give our friendly team a call at the location that’s most convenient for you, or book an appointment online today. 

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