primary eye care

What Age Should I Start Worrying About Glaucoma?

January 21st, 2021

woman sitting on the couch while holding a cup of coffee

Have you or a loved one found out you have glaucoma? Glaucoma is a severe threat to the wellbeing of your eyesight.

The condition damages your optic nerve, causing permanent vision loss. Glaucoma is also a progressive disease.

This means that it gets worse and worse over time. The decline in eye health is so slow and subtle that many people with the condition don’t realize it until vision loss has already occurred.

This disease is one of the best examples of why regular trips to an eye care professional are so necessary to maintaining good vision. Schedule an appointment at Vision Care of Maine today and ask for a glaucoma screening!

Glaucoma is not exclusive to the older population. But the truth is people who are over 60 are at an increased risk of developing it.

As you get older, you should increase the frequency of your eye doctor visits. Keep reading to learn more about glaucoma and if there’s an age that you should start worrying about it more!

How To Test For Glaucoma

Your optic nerve suffers damage from glaucoma due to an increase in internal ocular pressure. Often, this is caused by a partial blockage inside of the eye.

This partial blockage inside of the eye causes eye fluid to be produced faster than the eye can drain it. This is called open-angle glaucoma.

The most reliable way to test for open-angle glaucoma is by measuring eye pressure. This test is called tonometry.

During tonometry, you’ll have an instrument called a tonometer used on your eyes. After numbing your eyes with special drops, the doctor uses a pencil-shaped probe to measure the resistance.

A more modern-day version of the test utilizes a hard puff of air blown into the eye through a machine, which senses the resistance given by your eye.

In some cases, glaucoma occurs even with normal eye pressure. Doctors will also use tests to determine your field of vision, corneal thickness, and will even look directly at your optic nerve for damage.

Other Risk Factors

Age is not the only thing that causes an increased risk of developing glaucoma. If you fit one or more of the following descriptions, be extra aware of gradual changes in your vision.

You have a family history of glaucoma

If you have a family history of glaucoma, you are more likely to also develop the eye condition. Glaucoma seems to get passed down through families.

You are African American

African Americans are not only more likely to get glaucoma but they are also more likely to suffer permanent vision loss.

You have certain other health conditions

Diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease all factor into your glaucoma risk

Your eyes have previously had severe physical trauma

Blunt force trauma can cause an immediate spike in eye pressure. This can cause pressure to increase in the future, and can even dislocate the lens of the eye, blocking the drainage angle.

You use corticosteroids

Prolonged usage of corticosteroids can increase the risk of glaucoma.

Concerned about glaucoma? Schedule an appointment at Vision Care of Maine in Bangor, ME today!

Search Our Website