Glaucoma Causes and Risk Factors By on September 20, 2011

There are many different eye conditions out there that people should be aware of, which makes sense given how complex an organ the eyes are. Minor eye problems such as refractive errors (nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism) can be addressed through the use of Puerto Rico LASIK surgery. Other eye problems will require more involved surgical treatments and even long-term treatments using multiple therapies and options.

About Glaucoma

One such serious eye problem is glaucoma. The eye condition is a leading cause of vision loss and blindness, affecting many worldwide. Statistics show that in people age 50 or younger, 1 in 200 will develop glaucoma. The chances go up dramatically with age. It’s estimated that of people age 80 or older, 1 in 10 will develop glaucoma.

Since Puerto Rico glaucoma can be hard to notice, many people consider it to be a silent thief of sight. Lets’ now take a look at the causes, symptoms, and treatments options that people can consider for managing glaucoma.

What Causes Glaucoma

In most cases, glaucoma is associated with heightened pressure within the eye. This can affect the optic nerve, though there are some cases in which the increased pressure within the eye does not affect the option nerve as well. (Such cases are referred to as ocular hypertension, which can also lead to glaucoma.) If this goes untreated, diminished vision and blindness are the result since damage is done to the optic nerve.

Symptoms of Glaucoma

There are two types of glaucoma, Open-angle and closed-angle. Open-angle is the more common kind of glaucoma, with the primary symptom being reduced visual field. Closed-angle glaucoma is much rarer. This rarer form of glaucoma is characterized by reduced visual field coupled with red eye, eye pain, visual halos, and nausea. During a full eye examination at our Virgin Islands laser eye surgery practice, we will be sure to check for all of these symptoms through comprehensive testing.

Risk Factors for Glaucoma

Advanced age is a major risk factor for glaucoma as we have mentioned above, there are others to keep I mind which we should mention. Steroid use, for example, can increase the risk of developing glaucoma.

Racial background also plays a factor. People of African descent are three times more likely to develop glaucoma than some other ethnic backgrounds, though they are not the only group at risk. People of East Asian descent are more likely to develop closed-angle glaucoma. Studies have shown that people of Inuit background are up to 40 times more likely to develop closed-angle glaucoma than Caucasians.

People who have relatives who have developed glaucoma are also more likely to develop glaucoma than those with a clear family history for the condition. It should also be noted that eye injury and other eye conditions such as diabetic retinopathy can lead to glaucoma.

Options for Treating Glaucoma

There are different options available for treating glaucoma which we can discuss in more detail during a consultation. In general, though, there are both surgical and non-surgical treatments that are possible to use individually or in combination with each other. Some will involve the use of eye drops or other medications. Some will use laser therapy or traditional surgical techniques. Others will involve various drainage strategies to relive the pressure within the eye.

Schedule a Consultation at Our Eye Surgery Center

To learn more about glaucoma diagnosis and treatment, be sure to contact our Virgin Islands eye surgery and vision correction center today. We look forward to meeting you.

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Byron W. Biscoe, MD

Laser Vision Institute of the Virgin Islands

Byron W. Biscoe, MD, has been in practice since 1994. He is a member of a number of distinguished organizations:

  • American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery
  • American Academy of Ophthalmology
  • Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care Inc.
  • International Society of Refractive Surgery

Contact us online to ask a question or request a consultation. You can also reach us by phone at (340) 774-3003.

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