Let’s talk about who can be at risk for Glaucoma.
So this, again, is a little bit of a misunderstanding. I think sometimes people think that, you know,
I can only have Glaucoma if it runs in my family. So, if it doesn’t run in my family
how can I possibly have Glaucoma? And I hear that a lot. And, actually, there’s a group
of people that can have a higher risk for Glaucoma. And so, probably the most important
group of individuals that are at risk for Glaucoma are those that are 65 and older.
So, individuals that are more mature have a much higher risk for Glaucoma. So, that’s
one of the reasons why Glaucoma is more prevalent in that patient base as opposed to individuals
in their twenties and thirties. As people mature, their risk for Glaucoma goes up. So
age is one of the most important risk factors for Glaucoma. Another risk factor for Glaucoma
is Diabetes. Individuals that have Diabetes have a much greater risk of developing Glaucoma.
And studies vary from three to four times, so that means that if you have Diabetes you
might be at three of four times the risk of developing Glaucoma relative to an individual
that doesn’t have Glaucoma. Another risk factor for Glaucoma is race. African Americans tend
to have six times the risk of developing Glaucoma after the age of forty. And so, it’s interesting,
because African Americans over the age of forty have a greater risk than Caucasians
over the age of 65. So race plays a really important role in identifying individuals
who are Glaucoma suspect. Also, there’s been some studies that suggest that people that
are steroid users can be at risk for Glaucoma. So, that can be somebody, for example, that
might have a knee problem that’s taking oral steroids, and they’ve taken them from years
and years to deal with another problem in their body, and by use of these steroids it’s
creating a secondary problem in their eye by way of this Glaucoma. And so, then we have
family history. And so, in the family, it’s important to know who in the family has Glaucoma.
If it’s one of the parents, or the siblings, but it’s interesting in the last few years
there’s been some studies that suggest in the family, it’s more important if one of
the siblings has Glaucoma relative to one of the parents. And so, family history is
important, but it’s a little bit more important in one of your siblings has Glaucoma. So,
then we have the actual risk factors in the eye. Those are all risk factors in general,
but the risk factors of the eye include what the pressure is in the eye. So one of the
tests that we, you know, do when you go visit your eye doctor is they’ll check the pressure
in your eye. And then, another really important finding is how healthy the nerve is in the
back of the eye. That’s really important in helping us identify people that are at risk
for Glaucoma. And the third test is a measurement of how well that patient sees in the periphery.
And so, having good peripheral vision measured using automated computerized system is really
important. So patients who have higher eye pressure, ones who have unhealthy optic nerves,
those are typically ones that are a little bit larger when we look in the eye, or individuals
that might have a reduced peripheral vision. Those are all individuals that are at higher
risk for having Glaucoma.