Are You At Risk Of Developing Glaucoma?

Posted on: 27 April 2017

Glaucoma is a condition in which the internal eye pressure rises, leading to damage to the optic nerve and a gradual loss of eyesight. Anyone can develop glaucoma, but you're considered to be especially at risk if you:

Are of African American Descent

Though all races are prone to glaucoma, African Americans are 15 times more likely to develop it than Caucasians. In fact,blindness is the second leading cause of blindness in African Americans. (The first leading cause is cataracts).

Have Diabetes

Diabetes can affect the body in many ways. Over time, sustained high blood sugar can lead to damage to the blood vessels. They may become leaky, exuding fluid into the eye and raising the eye pressure, leading to glaucoma. You can reduce your risk of glaucoma substantially by keeping your blood sugar levels under close control. Always follow your doctor-prescribed diet and take your insulin as directed (if you've been prescribed insulin).

Have Had A Hysterectomy

If you are a woman who has had a hysterectomy, you are at an increased risk of developing glaucoma. This is thought to be due to the deficiency of estrogen that can result from a hysterectomy. Taking estrogen supplements may help reduce your risk.

Have High Blood Pressure

There's a very close relationship between elevated blood pressure and glaucoma. Many people have high blood pressure and are not aware of it, so have yours checked at your doctor's office or a pharmacy. If you do have high blood pressure, take steps to bring it down, like increasing your activity levels and eating more salt. Your doctor may also recommend blood pressure medications to lower your blood pressure and protect against glaucoma.

Have Used Corticosteroids Long-Term

Taking corticosteroids short-term for an allergic reaction is not usually something to be concerned about. However, if you are prescribed a corticosteroid medication long-term for the treatment of asthma or an immune condition, it may increase your risk of glaucoma. Make sure you're visiting your eye doctors for regular exams so that if you do develop this condition, it is detected early. You may also want to talk to your doctor about alternatives to corticosteroid drugs.

If you are at an increased risk for glaucoma, your doctor can detect the condition with a few simple tests. He or she will begin by shooting a little puff of air towards your eye to measure eye pressure. Then, if your eye pressure is elevated, your eye doctor will examine your optic nerve under a microscope, evaluating it for possible damage. For more information, contact a business such as Wheatlyn Eyecare.