Glaucoma Risk Factors and Prevention Habits
In 2010, about 2.2 million people in the US had glaucoma, according to the Center for Disease Control. By 2030, it is estimated that more than 4 million Americans will have glaucoma. But as many as half of Americans with glaucoma don’t know they have it. That’s a lot.
It’s so important to be proactive when it comes to your eye health and receive quality glaucoma care to protect your quality of life. At the Cheyenne Eye Clinic & Surgery Center, we believe that awareness and education is the cornerstone of proactive habits around health care.
Five Glaucoma Risk Factors to Know
Everyone is at risk, but there are certain factors that can make you “high risk” and more likely to develop glaucoma.
- Older age
People over 60 are considered high risk.
More women have glaucoma than men, representing 61% of people with glaucoma in the US.
The highest risk group is black Americans. By 69, almost 6% of black Americans have glaucoma, compared to about 2% in the general population.
People with diabetes, high blood pressure, or a history of traumatic eye injuries are also considered at a higher risk.
- Family history
You don’t just get your sense of humor from your mother—she can also pass down a risk of glaucoma.
Four Easy Ways to Get Ahead of Glaucoma
If these numbers are making you nervous, don’t worry—there are steps you can take to take control of your eye health.
- Regular exercise
Routine, moderate exercise can reduce eye pressure—but the key is routine! Even something as simple as taking a walk three or four days a week may be enough.
- Protect your eyes
When you’re wrenching in the garage or playing high-velocity sports, wear protective eyewear.
- Know your history
At the next family get together, instead of talking about the weather, why don’t you talk about your medical history? Did Aunt Betty have glaucoma? Or was it Cousin Jim?
- Regular eye exams
A dilated eye exam is the best way for your eye doctor to identify glaucoma. But the Glaucoma Research Foundation found that less than half of all adult Americans are receiving a dilated eye exam.
If all this is making you nervous, you can relax knowing that the Cheyenne Eye Clinic & Surgery Center is here for you.
Our doctors recommend annual eye exams for high-risk patients and exams every other year for patients over 40. If you do show signs of glaucoma, you’ll see Wyoming’s only fellowship-trained glaucoma specialist, Dr. Anne Miller.
Don’t be a statistic. Take control of your eye health.