Glaucoma is a frightening disease because of its ability to take your eyesight.
Because of this, those who have family members with glaucoma may be wondering whether they are at risk of suffering from it as well. Unfortunately, certain forms of glaucoma are hereditary, which puts you at a higher risk of also suffering from the condition.
While you may be at a higher risk, there are still preventive measures to be had, and with regular checkups and supervision from your doctor, you may be able to avoid the condition altogether.
What Are Common Glaucoma Risk Factors?
There are various risk factors that can all help to warn you as to whether or not you are susceptible to glaucoma. The most common ones include:
- Family History: If you have a family history of glaucoma, chances are, you are at a much higher risk for developing it as well.
- Age: A common risk factor in glaucoma is the age of a patient. As the eyes get older, they become more susceptible to damage, which in some cases, can create imbalance in pressure. These imbalances in pressure are a contributing factor to the formation of glaucoma.
- Eye Injuries: Extreme trauma to your eye can actually result in the formation of glaucoma. Because glaucoma affects the nerve in the eye, damaging it in a freak accident can quicken glaucoma formation.
- Medical Conditions: In some scientific studies, it has been suggested that heart disease and increased blood pressure can all be contributing factors for a higher risk of forming glaucoma.
If you are at risk of glaucoma, it’s important to speak to your doctor.
A pressure test on the eye and cornea can help give insights into the condition of the eye and the risk levels for later age.
Common Types of Glaucoma
Glaucoma can take many forms and is also caused by slight variations with your eye and its internal parts. Some of the most common types of glaucoma are:
- Open-Angle Glaucoma: This is most commonly caused by a clogging of the canals in your eyes, specifically that area used to drain fluid. As these canals clog, the pressure in your eye increases, and eventually glaucoma forms.
- Pigmentary Glaucoma: Occurring mainly in younger patients, pigmentary glaucoma is a condition that is caused by the shape of the iris. This can be of particular interest to patients that suffer from nearsightedness, as this condition can often put a patient at risk of pigmentary glaucoma.
- Acute Angle Closure: Unlike open-angle glaucoma, which happens over time, acute angle closure glaucoma is caused by rapid variations in eye pressure. This excess pressure prevents proper drainage from the eye, which in turn leads to glaucoma.
- Traumatic Glaucoma: As the name suggests, this condition is caused by traumatic incidents including direct damage to the eye, bruising of the cornea, or just a run of the mill accident affecting the eye. If you take a direct hit to your eye, be sure to check with your optometrist to determine whether or not internal damage is present.
Because there are so many different types of glaucoma, it’s important to be on the lookout for any symptoms that may be hinting that you could suffer from blindness in the future.
Blurry vision, eye pain or pressure, or spots in your eyesight can all be early detection symptoms of a more serious issue. Oftentimes, though, glaucoma has no symptoms.
What Are Eye Diseases that Cause Blindness?
Glaucoma is the most common cause for blindness, but there are various other medical conditions that can also leave you blind.
They range from severe medical emergencies to gradual losses in vision, but they can all be detrimental to your way of life.
A retinal detachment is an example of an extreme medical emergency. This is caused when the retina separates from your eye, and this emergency can result in partial or complete loss of vision.
Cataracts are incredibly common around the world and occur when the lens of the eye becomes cloudy. With a cataract, there is a chance that you can still see, but it’s cloudy vision that can be frustrating.
Macular degeneration is another eye disease that actually stems from old age and poor health. As the eyes deteriorate, patients may lose vision in the center of their field of vision resulting in hazy or shadowy spots.
There are eye diseases that can also be attributed to health conditions like diabetic retinopathy, which is brought on by diabetes. With fluctuations in blood sugar levels, the body may restrict blood to certain body parts, including the eyes, which can cause damage to the eye eventually leading to lost eyesight.
Consult Your Doctor Today
In most instances, these diseases are rare or at the very least treatable. This is why it’s important to schedule regular visits for checkups to ensure your eye pressure is at the correct level and no damage can be noted in your eye.
As stated previously, glaucoma often comes with no symptoms at all, so the best thing you can do is have a yearly comprehensive eye exam.