Glaucoma is an eye disease that if untreated can damage the optic nerve, impair vision and cause blindness. It is particularly sight threatening in that in its most common form it doesn’t strike the patient with any warnings or symptoms. Thus, becoming familiar with glaucoma risk factors is worthwhile for all patients. While we have known for quite some time about the increased risk among family members and certain ethnic and racial backgrounds, those patients of Latino or African, ancestry are clearly at greater risk for high pressure within the eye and thus should be aware of the need for routine eye exams and glaucoma testing at the direction of their eye doctor. Researchers from the UIC College of Medicine analyzed data from 3,541 participants 40 and older from the Mexican American Glaucoma Genetic Study, part of the Los Angeles Latino Eye Study and found that as the percent of African ancestry went up, intraocular pressure rose.
According to a report in the journal Ophthalmology, African ancestry carried more risk for high intraocular pressure than high body mass index, older age and high blood pressure-factors known to contribute to increased pressure inside the eye. The key to preventing vision loss from glaucoma is early detection, diagnosis and treatment.
If you or some you know has known glaucoma risk factors including diabetes, high blood pressure, is a smoker, has a family history of glaucoma, obesity or suffers from sleep apnea and you are of Latino or African ancestry, it is quite important that you have regular eye exams and glaucoma testing. Please call The Eye Care & Surgery Center at 908-789-8999, visit The Eye Care & Surgery Center, Google+ or facebook.com/eyecareandsurgerycenter to schedule an appointment.