Screening for Glaucoma
Glaucoma is generally an age-related condition characterized by damage to the optic nerves. This eye disorder is associated with the buildup of pressure, which gets worse as we age. Glaucoma also tends to be inherited, showing up only later in life. If left untreated, the pressure in the affected eye will continue to do damage and lead to permanent loss of vision.
Unlike most eye conditions, glaucoma usually doesn’t display early symptoms like pain or discomfort. Thus, it is important to have your eyes checked regularly. Early diagnosis and treatment is crucial to preventing long-term visual loss.
Wondering when you should have your eyes checked for glaucoma? If you’re 40 and someone in your family has glaucoma, you need to have your eyes examined every year. Diabetes is also known as a contributing factor, so if you have been diagnosed with this condition, have your eyes checked more frequently.
For people below age 40 and do not have a family history for glaucoma, a thorough eye exam every 5 to 10 years will suffice. But it is important to have these eye exams become more frequent as one ages. The frequency of eye exams becomes oftener as the level of risk and state of eye health worsens.
Aside from age, diabetes, and family history, what are the other contributing risk factors for glaucoma?
- Having a high eye pressure (this is called intraocular pressure)
- African Americans and East Asians are at a higher risk of developing this eye condition
- Eye injury can aggravate a person’s predisposition for glaucoma
- Hypertension and farsightedness
- Taking corticosteroid meds can increase the risk for glaucoma
If you fall in the category of people at a higher risk for glaucoma, have your eyes completely checked as soon as possible.