Today nearly 3 million people ages 40 and older have glaucoma. As the population ages the number is projected to grow steadily, increasing to 4.3 million by 2032, and 5.5 million by 2050.
Glaucoma is an eye disease that currently has no cure. It causes loss of sight by damaging a part of the eye called the optic nerve.
Most people notice no early symptoms or pain. Usually by the time symptoms appear, some permanent vision loss has already occurred. However, this vision loss may be avoided or decreased if detected and treated early. That is why it is imperative for adults to get a complete dilated eye exam from an eye care professional yearly for the best chance of saving their sight.
There are many risk factors for glaucoma including:
AGE: The older you are, the greater you are at risk.
RACE: African Americans age 40 and over are 4-5 times more likely to have glaucoma than others. Hispanics are also at increased risk for glaucoma. Those of Asian and Native American descent are at increased risk for angle closure glaucoma.
DIABETES: People with diabetes are 40% more likely to suffer from glaucoma than non-diabetics. The longer someone has had diabetes, the more common glaucoma is.
FAMILY HISTORY: If you have a parent, brother or sister with glaucoma, you are more likely to get glaucoma. If you have glaucoma, inform your family members to be tested.
MEDICAL HISTORY: You are at risk if you have a history of high pressure in your eyes, previous eye injury, long term steroid use, or nearsightedness.
Now is the perfect time to make your eye health a priority and schedule a comprehensive eye exam today!!