Do You Know Your Glaucoma Risk Factors?


Glaucoma examGlaucoma, which is nicknamed “the silent thief of sight,” can occur in anyone at any age. However, some people are at a higher risk of getting the disease than others. Being aware of the risk factors for glaucoma and knowing how to optimize your ocular health is critical to preventing vision loss to the disease.

Take a moment to learn about the glaucoma risk factors from board-certified ophthalmologist Dr. Gregory Johnson of Intracoastal Eye.

Glaucoma Risk Factors

The primary risk factors associated with glaucoma include:

  • Age – People over the age of 50 are at a higher risk of glaucoma.
  • Genetics – Glaucoma tends to run in families. Having a parent or sibling with glaucoma is a strong risk factor. However, be aware that many patients with glaucoma do not have a family history of the disease.
  • Ethnic background – People of African, Hispanic or East Asian descent are slightly more likely to get glaucoma, though glaucoma occurs frequently in all races.

Other risk factors for glaucoma can include:

  • Diabetes, high blood pressure or other problems with blood circulation
  • History of an injury to the eye or previous eye surgery
  • Long-term use of corticosteroids
  • Thinning of the optic nerve
  • Thin cornea
  • Smoking

Things You Can Do for Your Eye Health

Although there is no way to completely prevent glaucoma, there are things you can do to promote proper eye health.

Eating a varied, nutritious diet full of vitamins and antioxidant-rich foods is key, as is getting daily aerobic exercise (e.g., walking, biking or swimming).

Do not smoke! If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation.

Prevent overexposure to the sun’s rays by wearing sunglasses and a hat when going outdoors.

Manage any pre-existing health conditions (e.g., diabetes) by seeing your primary care doctor regularly and taking all of your medications as prescribed.

Finally, be sure you see Dr. Johnson regularly for comprehensive eye exams. These appointments are a great opportunity for Dr. Johnson to look at the structures inside your eyes for any clues that could indicate a problem like glaucoma, cataracts or macular degeneration. Early detection increases the chances of keeping any eye disease under control and preventing irreversible vision loss.

Contact Intracoastal Eye

If you would like to discuss your ocular health or your risk for getting glaucoma with Dr. Johnson, please contact us at (910) 777-8254 or email Intracoastal Eye today.