RISK FACTORS FOR GLAUCOMA
It is estimated that over 300,000 Australians have glaucoma, yet 50% are unaware they have it, thinking they have healthy eyes. Known as the ‘silent thief of sight’ glaucoma develops slowly and often without any symptoms, leaving people undetected until the disease reaches an advanced stage. Left untreated, glaucoma can cause vision loss and may even lead to blindness. Anyone may develop glaucoma, but the incidence increases with age. About 1 in 10,000 babies are born with glaucoma, by age 40 about 1 in 200 have glaucoma, rising to 1 in 8 at age 80.
Who is at risk?
Some people have a higher risk of developing glaucoma, including people who:
- have a family history of glaucoma
- have high eye pressure
- are aged over 50
- are of African or Asian descent
- have diabetes
- are short or long sighted
- have been on a prolonged course of cortisone (steroid) medication
- experience migraines
- have had an eye operation or eye injury
- have a history or high or low blood pressure
- experience obstructive sleep apnoea
Source: Glaucoma Australia