Glaucoma is an eye condition that affects the optic nerve, causing an increase in intraocular pressure or pressure in the eye. If you ever feel pressure in the eye, you should contact an eye-care professional as soon as possible. Even people with healthy eyes and regular pressure may experience glaucoma in the future. An eye expert can let you know if you have glaucoma. Testing for this disorder is one of the main reasons that regular eye exams are important. Glaucoma damages the nerve over a period of time and if this condition is left untreated it is a leading cause of eye damage and blindness.
Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness in adults over 40 years old. Without symptoms or warning that you have the condition it is difficult to know if you have it. It is not yet known the exact cause of glaucoma and it is important that you always remain on the lookout with regards to your eye health. It is crucial that you consider protecting your eyes regularly.
Specific characteristics make an individual more disposed to having glaucoma:
- The main consideration is age. The older someone becomes, the greater the chance of glaucoma developing.
- Someone suffering from short-sightedness or myopia also has a greater chance to develop glaucoma.
- Another significant factor is one's family history in identifying those people who can be at risk for glaucoma. If you have a family member with glaucoma, your chances of developing the condition are considerably greater.
- Ethnicity is another factor that can have an affect on both an individual's likelihood of developing glaucoma and the variety of glaucoma. Those of Asian descent are prone to "closed angle" glaucoma, while those of African or Afro-Caribbean nationality are prone to "open angle" glaucoma.
- People known to have a family history of glaucoma
- People that have suffered from diabetes, anemia and other systemic diseases
- Men and women of Hispanic or African American origin
Talk to a glaucoma doctor whenever you have any type of symptoms related to this condition or when your primary care physician tells you it is a good idea for you to contact these professionals. If you do have regular eye exams, your optometrist will likely catch this occurring sooner than you will notice symptoms. That is one of the most important reasons for you to have screenings on an annual basis especially as you get older and the risks become larger.