Glaucoma is not just one eye disease, but a group of eye disorders that lead to optic nerve damage. The condition often comes with very few — if any — warning signs until it has progressed to an advanced stage. In fact, glaucoma can damage your vision so gradually that it is often called the silent thief of sight. Several factors may influence the development and progression of glaucoma, especially intraocular pressure. The doctors at Laser Eye Center of Miami want patients to be aware of this vision-threatening condition while recognizing the risk factors associated with the condition. Below, they share information on serious health conditions that may be linked to glaucoma.
Diabetes is a complex condition that requires effective management. It results from the body’s inability to produce insulin. Without this key hormone, high levels of sugar remain in the blood, leading to issues with the eyes. Patients with diabetes are at an increased risk for developing several types of glaucoma.
If you have difficulty controlling your blood pressure, your risk for glaucoma can increase. High blood pressure can influence eye pressure, which is a key factor in the development of glaucoma. Additionally, blood pressure that is too low (hypotension) may also be a risk factor for the disease. If your intraocular pressure is elevated but your blood pressure is lower than it should be, it may be challenging for your eyes to receive the oxygen and nourishment they need via the blood. Seeking treatment for hypertension or hypotension may help improve your outlook with glaucoma.
Heart and blood vessel health are linked to glaucoma, especially in the presence of other risk factors for the disease. Underlying cardiovascular disease may compromise the circulation of blood in the eye. If you have cardiovascular disease, it is important to attend your regularly scheduled eye examinations to check for signs of glaucoma and preserve your vision for as long as possible.
Other Risk Factors
Glaucoma is a multifactorial disease. In addition to certain medical conditions, a number of other factors may increase the risk of developing the disease. These include:
Age: As you age, your risk of developing glaucoma increases with each year, especially in patients over age 60.
Family history: If other members of your family have the disease, you are more likely to develop it.
Corticosteroids: Certain medications, such as cortisone and prednisone, can put some patients at risk of developing secondary glaucoma. If you are currently using corticosteroids, ask about your glaucoma risk at your next eye appointment.
Eye Injuries: In some cases, trauma or injury to the eye can quickly elevate the pressure in the eye. Sustained damage from the injury may also lead to issues with intraocular pressure in the future. If not addressed, the optic nerve can become damaged, resulting in vision loss.
Glaucoma Treatment in Miami
If you have one or more glaucoma risk factors, do not wait for the disease to steal your sight before you take action. Seeking high-quality, regular treatment can help preserve your vision and quality of life. Contact Laser Eye Center of Miami today for a consultation.