Glaucoma is a condition that damages the optic nerve and if treated for long, it can lead to permanent vision loss. An individual is called a glaucoma suspect when there are one or more risk factors that may lead to glaucoma. If glaucoma is not treated for long, it can lead to blindness.
Being a glaucoma suspect doesn’t mean that the individual has optic nerve damage or vision loss due to glaucoma. It means the person is at the risk of developing glaucoma. As glaucoma is a slow-progressing disease, a definitive diagnosis of the condition takes time. To know about factors that make you a glaucoma suspect, keep reading.
What puts you at an increased risk of glaucoma?
As glaucoma can cause permanent loss of vision before any signs or symptoms appear, be aware of these risk factors:
- High internal eye pressure: Intraocular pressure is the fluid pressure inside the eye. It is a very important factor that eye specialists take into account while evaluating patients at risk of glaucoma. Those with elevated eye pressure are at the risk of developing glaucoma. However, it is important to note that there is a subtype of glaucoma in which eye pressure is not elevated.
- Age: As people grow older, the drainage system of the eyes do not work properly as they used to. This leads to elevated eye pressure, increasing the risk of glaucoma.
- Family history of glaucoma: Family history is also a risk factor, especially if close relatives such as parents or siblings have glaucoma. Anyone who is diagnosed with glaucoma should advise their first-degree relatives of their diagnosis and encourage family members to have a comprehensive eye exam regularly to detect glaucoma early or to prevent the condition.
- Thin cornea: It has been seen that patients with thinner corneas may have an increased risk of glaucoma. You can learn about the thickness of the cornea during a comprehensive eye exam that includes pupil dilation.
- Extreme nearsightedness or farsightedness: Patients with extreme nearsightedness or farsightedness have increased risk of angle glaucoma. This may be because of the different shape of the optic disc.
- Certain medical conditions: People having certain medical conditions like diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure also stand at an increased risk of primary open-angle glaucoma.
Treatment options for glaucoma suspects
Here are things that glaucoma suspects should do in order to prevent or reduce the risk of glaucoma:
- Follow up care: If you are a glaucoma suspect, make sure that you visit an eye specialist regularly. Taking good care of your eyes and getting regular checkups can help you keep a tab on the condition of your optic nerve. If you are a low-risk glaucoma suspect, you should see an eye specialist, once in six months at least.
- Eye drops: If you are a high-risk glaucoma suspect, the eye doctor may suggest you to use eye drops to lower the eye pressure. In some cases, laser treatment may also be recommended.
- Exercise safely and regularly. Moderate exercise may help prevent glaucoma by reducing eye pressure. Talk with your doctor about an appropriate exercise programme.
To get an accurate assessment of your eye health, visit Disha Eye Hospitals. Our comprehensive eye examination can help detect early glaucoma symptoms. We have some of the best eye doctors in Kolkata on board who can help you choose the right treatment option. To book an online consultation, click here.