Risk Factors for Glaucoma

According to the American Glaucoma Society, glaucoma is the second major cause of blindness. The high pressure in the eye damages the optic nerve. If this does not receive proper treatment, you may lose your peripheral vision. The absence of appropriate treatment may also lead to complete vision loss. Understanding the risk factors for glaucoma can help you prevent or slow it down. Here are the details that you should consider.



Caucasians have a lower risk of developing glaucoma than African Americans. The Japanese have an increased risk of developing low-tension glaucoma. In general, Asians have a high risk of having angle-closure glaucoma. Older people of Latin American descent are also more prone to having glaucoma.



Your risk of developing glaucoma increases as you grow old. People at least 40 years old should start comprehensive eye exams every one-and-a-half to two years. Individuals who are above 60 years old have an even higher risk.


Eye Injury

Glaucoma can result from eye injuries. Blunt force trauma to the eye compresses it. Once this happens, the trabecular meshwork at the base of the iris bleeds or tears. This prevents the meshwork from draining excess fluid from the eye. It then increases the eye pressure, which damages the nerve behind the eye.

Studies show that 75 percent of blunt injuries in the eye result in damage to internal fluid drainage. There is a 10 percent risk of glaucoma when more than half of the drain has been damaged. Glaucoma can develop years after the injury. Eye doctors recommend periodic eye exams to people who experienced such an injury. The checkups can catch glaucoma in its early stages to slow it down significantly. That way, you can prevent the early onset of vision loss.


Diabetic Eye Disease

People with diabetes can develop eye problems. Diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma are two of the common eye ailments they can have. Diabetes can damage the eye structures. This can lead to poor vision. Over time, it can result in blindness.

Choosing a healthier lifestyle and diet can help keep your eyesight clear. Quitting smoking and drinking can help make this possible. Regulating your cholesterol, blood sugar levels, and blood pressure can help maintain good eyesight. Seeing an eye doctor at Eye Care Center for a dilated eye exam will help check if your eyes are truly healthy.


Corneal Thickness

Scientists believe corneal thickness can affect IOP (intraocular pressure) a little. A thin cornea may have strangely low IOP readings. This is not good because the eye doctor may read a low IOP in a person with thin corneas even if the reading is high. Untreated high IOP can lead to glaucoma and then vision loss.

People with thicker cornea may result in a higher IOP reading. This could mean that the IOP is lower than the reading. If the individual’s IOP is low, there is a lower risk of developing glaucoma. Regular dilated eye exams will allow the eye doctor to see the changes in your eye pressure.

Understanding the risk factors for glaucoma can help prevent the onset of this eye condition. At Eye Care Center, we are always ready to help our patients confirm and manage their eye issues. Feel free to visit our clinics in Fridley, Maplewood, and Maple Grove, Minnesota, if you want an in-person consultation. Call us at 763-308-8440 (Fridley), 651-777-3555 (Maplewood), or 763-420-6981 (Maple Grove) to set an appointment or inquire about our glaucoma care and treatment packages.

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