Is Glaucoma Hereditary?
The short answer to this question is yes. If you have a direct family member (parent, sibling) who suffers or suffered from glaucoma, then this raises your risk.
However, this is only one of the risk factors for developing the disease. Glaucoma is most commonly found in those aged 60+. However, even if you do have an increased glaucoma risk level, either from a hereditary or other reason, it’s certainly not a foregone conclusion that you will do.
Yes, Glaucoma is Hereditary. But it doesn’t necessarily Mean You’ll be Affected
- The risk factors for glaucoma
- Reducing your glaucoma risk
- If the worst happens: treatment for glaucoma
The risk factors for glaucoma
Having an immediate family member with glaucoma is one of the four known factors that increase your risk of contracting the disease. If it does happen, it’ll usually be in later life. It’s most commonly diagnosed in your 70s and 80s, although it’s not unheard of to be diagnosed in your 60s.
Other equally important risk factors include:
- Your ethnicity: Glaucoma is disproportionately more common in those of Asian, African, and Caribbean descent.
- Having other medical conditions: Including hypertension, diabetes, obesity, shortsightedness, and longsightedness.
- Your age: As mentioned, the risk of glaucoma increases the older you get.
Reducing your glaucoma risk
Even if you’re in one or more of the highest risk categories, it’s not a given that you’ll go on to develop it. There’re also plenty of things you can do to reduce your chances of a diagnosis:
- Protect your eyes from UV rays with good sunglasses and hats.
- Make healthy lifestyle choices (don’t smoke, reduce your alcohol intake, eat a good diet, and keep your weight within healthy parameters).
- Pay attention to oral health, as there’s a proven link between gum disease and optic nerve damage.
- Control any other medical conditions—take your prescribed medication and make good lifestyle choices, as per your physician’s advice.
- Without fail, have regular eye exams.
If the worst happens: treatment for glaucoma
Even if you do receive the dreaded glaucoma diagnosis, it doesn’t automatically mean your vision will dramatically deteriorate or that you’ll go blind. There are many levels of treatment.
- Eye drops (the first-line treatment and one that can be extremely effective)
- Laser treatment to open up the drainage tubes within the eye. Blockages are the root cause of glaucoma.
- Other dropless glaucoma therapy, including surgery.
Definitive care for glaucoma has advanced dramatically over recent years. What was once a miserable diagnosis with few treatment options is now a disease that ophthalmologists have lots of choices as to how to best approach the condition.
Being told you have glaucoma is serious. But with careful care and the right interventions, the vast majority of those diagnosed have a great prognosis.
If you only take one thing away, it should be this…
The key to the best glaucoma treatment is early diagnosis.
This means regular routine eye examinations throughout your life. In addition, if you experience any out-of-the-ordinary symptoms, such as blurred vision, seeing rainbow-colored rings around lights, eye pain, red eye, etc., you should seek expert advice without delay. This is relevant for everyone, no matter whether or not you have an increased risk factor for developing the disease.
Is Glaucoma Hereditary? Yes, but the WBEC Provides the Ultimate Monitoring and Care for Your Best-Ever Vision
The West Boca Eye Center is a leading clinical facility that’s renowned for providing the ultimate glaucoma care. Whether you’re worried about hereditary risk, or your glaucoma is well-evolved, we’ve got the right monitoring or treatment for you.
Don’t worry about glaucoma a minute longer. Head to https://westbocaeyecenter.com/services/glaucoma-dropless-therapy/ to discover our advanced treatment options and call today to book your expert consultation.
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