Risk Factors for Glaucoma: What You Need to Know

glaucoma

Glaucoma is one of the primary causes of permanent blindness. Glaucoma is a collection of eye disorders that cause optic nerve damage, usually as a result of increasing intraocular pressure. Understanding the risk factors for glaucoma is critical for early detection and intervention since it can have a major impact on vision preservation. Let’s take a look at the risk factors that lead to the development of this vision-threatening disorder.

What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma refers to a set of eye illnesses that occurs as a result of increasing intraocular pressure causing damage to the optic nerve. The optic nerve transmits visual information from the eye to the brain, and injury to it can cause gradual vision loss. There are various types of glaucoma and primary open-angle glaucoma is the most common one. Other types include angle-closure glaucoma, normal-tension glaucoma, and secondary glaucoma, each with its own set of characteristics.

Importance of Knowing Risk Factors for Glaucoma

There are two main reasons why people should be aware of the risk factors for glaucoma. Firstly, it assists individuals in determining their vulnerability to the condition, allowing them to take proactive steps to reduce the dangers. Secondly, identifying these characteristics enables glaucoma specialists in Singapore to conduct focused screening and preventative programs for at-risk populations, potentially resulting in early discovery and effective management.

Risk Factors

  • Age

One of the most important risk factors for glaucoma is age. Glaucoma becomes more common as people age. It is most prevalent among those over the age of 60. As we age, regular eye exams become more important for monitoring eye health and detecting potential problems such as glaucoma in its early stages.

  • Family History

A family history of glaucoma greatly increases an individual’s risk. If a close family member, such as a parent or sibling, has been diagnosed with glaucoma, it is critical to maintain frequent eye checkups. Genetic susceptibility can play a role, therefore early detection and treatments are critical for people with a family history of the disorder.

  • Ethnicity

Studies have revealed that some ethnic groups, including African Americans, Hispanics, and Asians, are more likely to acquire glaucoma. Furthermore, people of African heritage are more likely to develop glaucoma at a young age and may suffer from more severe types of the disease. Recognising ethnic differences is critical for focused screening and early intervention in these populations.

  • Medical Conditions

Certain medical disorders can raise the chance of acquiring glaucoma. Diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease are all related to an increased risk of glaucoma. Managing these underlying health conditions is not only important for overall health, but it can also help reduce the risk of developing glaucoma.

  • Eye Trauma

Individuals who have experienced eye trauma, whether from accidents, injuries, or surgery, may be predisposed to glaucoma. Trauma can cause structural damage to the eye, disrupting the normal flow of fluids and resulting in elevated intraocular pressure. Those with a history of eye injuries should be especially cautious about getting frequent eye exams to check for glaucoma.

  • Prolonged Corticosteroid Use

The long-term use of corticosteroids, whether in the form of eye drops, oral drugs, or topical creams, has been related to an increased risk of glaucoma. Individuals who use corticosteroids for an extended period of time should have regular eye exams done by glaucoma specialists in Singapore to monitor intraocular pressure and determine their risk of developing glaucoma.

  • High Intraocular Pressure

High intraocular pressure (IOP) is a significant risk factor for glaucoma. While not everyone with high IOP develops glaucoma, it does dramatically raise the risk of optic nerve damage. Regular eye exams, which include intraocular pressure measurements, are critical for early detection and management of increased IOP.

Glaucoma Screening at Asia Pacific Eye Centre

Understanding the risk factors for glaucoma is critical to maintaining excellent eye health and preventing irreversible vision loss. Individuals, particularly those with recognized risk factors, should schedule frequent eye exams at a reputable eye care centre and get screened for glaucoma. Make an appointment with Asia Pacific Eye Centre for a complete eye assessment to rule out glaucoma.  At Asia Pacific Eye Centre, we specialise in comprehensive eye care, including glaucoma, ensuring that your eyes get the attention they deserve.