Glaucoma Risk Factors
The risk factors for Glaucoma include:
1. Genetic Predisposition
If you have a close family member (parent or sibling) who has Glaucoma, it is likely that you have the genetic predisposition for Glaucoma. We would advise Glaucoma screening from the age of 40 years for family members with family history of Glaucoma.
2. High Eye Pressure
High eye pressure is known to be associated with compromise to the optic nerve function which translates to Glaucomatous damage. Its always good to have your eye pressure assessed regularly to detect early onset of Glaucoma.
3. Myopia (Short-sightedness)
People with high degrees of short-sightedness are at risk of developing Glaucoma.
4. Hypertension and Diabetes
People who had high blood pressure or diabetes are at risk of Glaucoma due to compromise to the optic nerve blood circulation.
5. Thin Corneas
Those with thin corneas are at risk of Glaucoma because the intraocular pressure measurement in a thin cornea tends to be an underestimation of the actual eye pressure. As such, many Glaucoma cases go undetected in those with thin corneas. Patients who had LASIK done would have thinner corneas than those without LASIK. That is why patients who had prior LASIK should continue close monitoring to detect any onset of Glaucoma.
6. Obstructive Sleep Apnea
People with snoring or obstructive sleep apnea have 10 times increase risk of Glaucoma. This could be related to decreased oxygen perfusion to the optic nerve during obstructed sleep when the muscles relax and airways collapse. For that same reason, people with obstructive sleep apnea have higher risk of hypertension, heart disease and stroke. It is advisable to get screened for Glaucoma if you know you or your loved ones have snoring or sleep problems.