Glaucoma is often called the “sneak thief of sight” since many people may have no pain or visible symptoms and because it is very hard to recognize in the early stages. If detected early enough, the progression of glaucoma be halted with medication and surgical options.
If you are concerned about glaucoma, schedule an appointment with an eye doctor near you. Early detection and treatment is crucial if you want to maintain your vision. This free glaucoma risk calculator can be used to help you assess your immediate risk of developing glaucoma.
DISCLAIMER: This calculator is not intended to diagnose glaucoma; it is a resource to help individuals assess their risk factors. Consult an ophthalmologist or optometrist for a glaucoma examination.
Low, Medium, or High Risk of Glaucoma?
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Glaucoma is as a disease of the eye in which the fluid pressure inside the eyeball is abnormally high. This is caused by obstructed outflow of the fluid. The increased pressure can damage the optic nerve and lead to partial or complete loss of vision.
There are several types of glaucoma. The two main types are open-angle and angle-closure:
Different types of glaucoma present alternate warning signs; in the case of open-angle glaucoma, the most common form of the disease, there are no symptoms at all. However, if you experience any of the following symptoms, schedule an appointment with your eye doctor immediately:
If you are diagnosed with glaucoma, we will attempt to control the disease with medications that either decrease the amount of fluid produced by the eye or increase the amount of fluid that drains from the eye. If these medications do not adequately treat your glaucoma, your doctor may suggest surgery to increase the drainage flow.
The doctor at Southwestern Eye Center provide annual eye examination for those over the age of 40 to monitor eye diseases such as glaucoma so vision loss can be avoided.
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Glaucoma becomes more likely as you get older. According to the National Health Service, primary open angle glaucoma affects up to 2 in 100 people over 40 and around 10 in 100 people over 75. A large-population study published in the Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science found that the risk of undetected glaucoma per eye increased linearly with age from 0.41% in the youngest age group (55-59 years) to 1.93% in the oldest age group (75-79 years).
A family history of glaucoma increases your risk of having the disease yourself. A review of published glaucoma risk factor studies in the Journal of Optometry reported that around half of all OAG patients have a positive family history, and their first-degree relatives themselves have a nine-fold increased risk for developing glaucoma. In one patient sample, approximately 60% of glaucoma patients were found to belong to families in which other members had the disease.
According to the BrightFocus Foundation, primary open-angle glaucoma affects African Americans at a younger age than other groups and is often diagnosed at a more severe stage of disease. Compared to people of European ancestry, glaucoma is about three to four times more common in African American populations. Other studies have estimated the prevalence of POAG in African American populations to be six times higher compared to whites.
A review of evidence published in the International Journal of Ophthalmology reported that the risk of glaucoma increases with the degree of myopia, or nearsightedness. Most studies suggested that moderate to high myopia is associated with an increased risk of developing primary open-angle glaucoma. The Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at the University of Wisconsin reports that 6% to 29% of POAG patients report concurrent myopia.
Louis R. Pasquale, MD, FARVO, Associate Professor of Ophthalmology at the Harvard Medical School, writes for The Glaucoma Foundation: “Uncontrolled [Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes] for a long enough period will lead to the development of diabetic retinopathy, consisting of leaking blood vessels and poor retinal blood supply that disrupts retinal function…This triggers new blood vessel formation in the ocular anterior segment and interferes with the normal internal drainage system of the eye leading to elevated intraocular pressure, a condition referred to as neovascular glaucoma.” Several studies also suggest that diabetic individuals are at an increased risk for glaucoma.
As reported in Nature, users of nasal corticosteroids were shown to be at increased risk of glaucoma. According to researchers at the Departments of Ophthalmology and Pathology at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine, corticosteroids increase the risk of glaucoma by raining the intraocular pressure when administered topically, periocularly, or systemically.