Understanding your risk for glaucoma, so that you can prevent it

Glaucoma is an eye disease that can come upon you suddenly, without any warning, because the symptoms are often not obvious until it is too late. Unfortunately, by the time some people realize that they have glaucoma their peripheral vision is already gone. That’s why understanding your risk for glaucoma is so important.

The importance of regular eye checks

Glaucoma is a condition that affects the eye’s optic nerve, and it can cause blindness if left untreated. Since there is no treatment to restore vision lost to the disease, regular eye checks are necessary to ensure early detection. Your ophthalmologist will be able to spot any suspicious signs of glaucoma. When it is caught early, it is possible to manage the condition and maintain vision.

Are you at risk?

There are usually no signs of glaucoma in its early stages, but there are some characteristics that are common to those at risk.

  • A family history of glaucoma.  Individuals with parents or siblings that have had glaucoma are more likely to develop the disease.
  • Elevated intraocular pressure (IOP). High eye pressure also known as ocular hypertension is an indicator of glaucoma. Therefore people with high IOP must be monitored closely.
  • Older people of Hispanic or African ethnicity. These groups have traditionally had higher rates of glaucoma.
  • People with diabetes or high blood pressure, have a greater risk of developing glaucoma.

Since glaucoma is a slowly progressive disease, people who are at risk must get regular screening.

If you live in Reston, VA or its environs, you can contact New View Eye Center for your eye examination. Dr. Jacqueline Griffiths will ensure that you have a clear understanding of your risk for glaucoma, so that you can prevent the disease. You can schedule an appointment by calling 703-834-9777, or complete a contact form    online at http://www.newviewlasereye.com/contact-us.

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