Glaucoma is a complex disease that can cause irreversible vision loss and blindness if not properly treated. Ophthalmic Consultants of Connecticut recommends that you know your personal risk factors for glaucoma and talk about them with our board-certified ophthalmologists. Together, we can take steps to promote your long-term eye health and help you avoid losing any precious vision to glaucoma or other ocular diseases.
Primary Risk Factors
The following factors can increase the risk of getting glaucoma:
- Race: People of African, Hispanic and Asian descent are at greater risk of getting glaucoma
- Age: Adults ages 60 and older are more likely to get glaucoma; for African Americans, the risk starts to go up around the age of 40
- Family history: Glaucoma tends to run in families; having a parent or sibling with the disease increases the risk of the disease
- History of severe trauma or damage to the eye: A history of trauma, such as a blow to the eye, can increase the risk of glaucoma
- Diabetes or high blood pressure: Chronic diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease can increase the chances of getting glaucoma
- Prolonged use of steroids: Long-term corticosteroid use (especially corticosteroid eyedrops) may put people at a higher risk of glaucoma
- Eye anatomy: People with thinner corners may be more likely to get glaucoma
How Is Glaucoma Diagnosed and Treated?
Glaucoma is diagnosed with a comprehensive eye examination that looks at the internal structures of the eye, including the optic nerve. A complete medical history will be taken to determine any relevant health problems or family history of eye disease.
Other tests may be performed as well to confirm the diagnosis. For example, tonometry will be used to measure the pressure inside the eye; a visual field test will check for areas of vision loss; pachymetry can measure corneal thickness; and gonioscopy can look at the eye’s drainage angle to determine how fluid is exiting the eye.
Glaucoma cannot be cured, but it can be managed with the help of an ophthalmologist, especially if it is detected in its early stages. The first line of defense against glaucoma is usually the use of prescription eyedrops to reduce the amount of fluid the eye makes or improve the way fluid exits the eye.
Other treatment options include laser therapy and traditional surgery to improve the drainage of fluid from the eye and reduce intraocular pressure. Our doctors can also implant tiny glaucoma devices into the eye to help improve fluid drainage.
For more information about glaucoma, please contact Ophthalmic Consultants of Connecticut today.