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Assess Your Risk: Should You Be Thinking About Glaucoma?

When it comes to protecting our eye health, we all know the most obvious signs and symptoms to watch out for – blurriness, halos and other changes in vision.  With glaucoma, however, the condition often doesn’t present any symptoms in its early stages.  Often referred to as a “silent thief of sight,” it’s for this reason that patients need to understand potential risk factors for the condition and schedule regular glaucoma screenings.  A common and serious condition, we are challenging our patients to consider one important question:  Should You Be Thinking About Glaucoma?

Here is our list of the Top 5 Risk Factors for Developing Glaucoma:

  1. Age. Age is one of the most common risk factors for developing glaucoma.  In fact, according to the Glaucoma Research Foundation, “You are six times more likely to get glaucoma if you are over 60 years old.”
  2. Family History. Pointing to a genetic link, those with a family history of glaucoma tend to have a much higher chance for developing the condition.  It’s important for patients to understand their family’s medical history and share it with their healthcare provider.
  3. Certain Medical Conditions. Certain medical conditions have been marked as potential risk factors for glaucoma.  In fact, according to the Mayo Clinic, “Several conditions may increase your risk of developing glaucoma, including diabetes, heart diseases, high blood pressure and hypothyroidism.”
  4. Ethnicity. Some ethnic groups tend to be more vulnerable to developing glaucoma.  Typically, these include African Americans and Hispanic populations.
  5. Taking Certain Medications. Certain medications have been marked as potential contributing factors to glaucoma, particularly steroids.  According to the GRF, “A 1997 study reported in the Journal of American Medical Association demonstrated a 40% increase in the incidence of ocular hypertension and open-angle glaucoma in adults who require approximately 14 to 35 puffs of steroid inhaler to control asthma.”

Schedule a Glaucoma Screening Today

Whether or not you are in one of these “high risk” categories, understand that glaucoma does not discriminate and everyone is ultimately at risk.  This is why we are encouraging all our patients to contact us today and schedule a glaucoma screening. Our offices are located in Winchester, serving Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland, and you can reach us directly at (540) 722-6200.

Posted in: Glaucoma

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