Glaucoma is a disease that causes damage to the eye’s optic nerve.
The optic nerve, which is connected to the retina and is made up of many nerve fibers, is responsible for sending signals from your retina to your brain. These signals are interpreted as the images you see.
In a healthy eye, a clear fluid called aqueous humor circulates the front portion of your eye.
To maintain a constant healthy eye pressure, your eye continually produces a small amount of aqueous humor while an equal amount of this fluid flows out and leaves your eye.
If you have glaucoma, the aqueous humor does not flow out of the eye in the way that it should. Fluid pressure in the eye builds up and, over time, causes damage to the optic nerve fibers.
If left untreated, Glaucoma can lead to vision loss and eventually can even lead to blindness.
Here are some of the factors that may put you at risk for Glaucoma…
- People over 60 are at increased risk for the disease.
- The risk of developing glaucoma actually increases with every year of age.
- African Americans have an increase risk beginning at the age of 40.
- African-Americans older than age 40 have much higher risk of developing glaucoma than do Caucasians.
- African-Americans also are more likely to experience permanent blindness as a result of glaucoma.
- People of Asian descent have an increased risk of developing acute angle-closure glaucoma.
- People of Japanese descent may be more likely to have normal-tension glaucoma.
Family history of glaucoma-
- If you have a family history of glaucoma, you have a greater risk of developing it.
- Glaucoma may have a genetic link, meaning there’s a defect in one or more genes that may cause certain individuals to be more susceptible to the disease.
- A form of juvenile open-angle glaucoma has been clearly linked to genetic abnormalities.
- Several conditions may increase your risk of developing glaucoma, including diabetes, heart diseases, high blood pressure and hypothyroidism.
- Previous eye injuries can also build up to Glaucoma.
It is recommended that you get regular eye exams. Early detection and treatment is the best way to minimize the risks of Glaucoma.