Eye Matters
May 29, 2009
Glaucoma Pt:2

Hello Readers,

Last week we started off the discussion on glaucoma. This week we will be focusing on risk factors for glaucoma, and a few other facts.

Practically everyone is at risk for glaucoma. However, certain groups are at higher risk than others.{{more}}

People with higher risk for glaucoma are: People of African origin, Family members of a glaucoma patient, people over a certain age group, steroid users, people with injury to the eye,

Other risk factors may include, diabetes, hypertension, high myopia (nearsightedness), a central corneal thickness less than 0.5mm.

There are two main types of Glaucoma: Primary open angle glaucoma (POAG), and angle closure glaucoma. The level of pressure in the eye (usually high) plays an important role in the disease. Optic nerve damage that is caused by normal eye pressure is called normal tension glaucoma. High eye pressure without optic nerve damage may be called ocular hypertension.

When another disease is the cause of glaucoma or contributes to an increased level of pressure in the eye and results in optic nerve damage and vision loss, we call this secondary glaucoma.

Sometimes glaucoma can be present at birth (congenital glaucoma) or appear during the first three years (infantile glaucoma) or appear from the age of three up to the young adult years (juvenile glaucoma).

This is rare, however.

Regular complete eye examinations help in the early detection of glaucoma. So, when one asks the question: how often should I get my eyes checked for glaucoma? The answer should be

_ before age 40, every two years

_ from age 40 to age 64, every one to two years

_ after age 65, every 12 months

In the case of people with high risk factors as mentioned above, testing should be done every year or two after age 35. For people with established glaucoma, testing is done every 4 months.

Next week I will be discussing symptoms and also present a quiz to help you discover whether you are at risk or not.

A good friend of mine supplied me with this quote:

Good vision? – All in favour say EYE.

Until then have a good one.

Dr Kenneth Onu is a resident Consultant Ophthalmologist at the Beachmont Eye Institute/Eyes R Us. Send questions to: [email protected]

Tel: 784 456-1210