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Know the risks about Glaucoma

We explore the eye condition and what factors there are in its development.

This week we shared a blog all about glaucoma to help promote more understanding around the eye condition and help you be more aware of what it is.

As part of World Glaucoma Week we wanted to build on this and share with you some more information about the condition and the most common risk factors in developing glaucoma.

There are no symptoms caused by glaucoma in the early stages of the condition, instead it develops gradually over a number of years affecting the edges of your vision (otherwise knowing as your peripheral vision).

Naturally this makes early detection on our own very difficult, and as such glaucoma can only be spotted in its early stages through a routine test with your local Optician.

There are of course symptoms to be found in later stages of the condition including blurred vision, or seeing rainbow-coloured circles around bright lights.

Both eyes are usually affected, although it may be worse in one eye.

Glaucoma has also been knowing to develop suddenly and can even cause intense pain in the eye; nausea and vomiting; red eye; headaches; tenderness around the eye; seeing rings around brighter lights and blurred vision.

With this in mind it is only natural to ask – what causes glaucoma and can I prevent it?

There are a number of reasons as to why glaucoma can occur, with most cases being caused by a build-up of pressure in the eye when fluid is not able to drain properly.

This causes an increase in pressure which then damages your optic nerve which connects your eye to your brain.

It’s not clear as to why this happens, but research and eye health experts have said certain things can increase the risk of developing glaucoma.

This includes your age, as glaucoma is more likely to develop as you get older.

Your ethnicity can also be a risk factor, with people of African, Caribbean or Asian descent at a higher risk.

You’re also more likely to develop glaucoma if you have a parent or sibling with the condition, so consider your family history as well in determining if you may be at risk.

Some other medical conditions including short-sightedness, long-sightedness and diabetes can also increase your risk of glaucoma.

While there is no clear guidance on what you can do to prevent glaucoma from developing, you can detect the condition early by making sure you have regular sight tests with your local optician.

For more information about glaucoma you can read our blog here