What Are The Genetic Risk Factors For Glaucoma?

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Glaucoma is a common eye condition that causes increased pressure buildup in the eye. This condition causes damage to the optic nerve and is the source of permanent vision loss in millions of individuals across the U.S. However, most people are not aware they even have glaucoma since early signs and symptoms often go unnoticed. Early diagnosis and knowing your treatment options are critical in slowing the progression of glaucoma.

So, who is most at risk for glaucoma, and what are some of the most common glaucoma causes? When you visit Young H. Choi, M.D. Eye Surgery Center, we educate patients about their risk factors. Dr. Young H. Choi is a board-certified ophthalmologist who prides himself on providing comprehensive solutions for glaucoma. Learn more about glaucoma treatment and improving your eye health in Birmingham, AL by scheduling an appointment.

The first signs of glaucoma

There are many various kinds of glaucoma, but the most common do not cause any initial symptoms or pain. This is why patients need to be informed about glaucoma causes and get regular examinations by a trusted ophthalmologist, an eye doctor who specializes in treating this condition. See an ophthalmologist right away if you experience any changes to your vision or eye health, including blurry vision or seeing halos around bright lights. More serious signs of glaucoma include:

  • Blurred vision that occurs suddenly
  • Severe or intense eye pain
  • A sudden reddening of the eye
  • Headache around the eyes or forehead
  • Nausea and vomiting with eye pain

Who is most at risk for glaucoma?

Glaucoma-related vision loss greatly affects your eye health and ability to perform everyday tasks. For this reason, patients should be aware that their genetics can affect whether they experience glaucoma-related vision loss. So, who is most at risk for glaucoma? People of Asian, Hispanic, and African-American descent tend to be more at risk, and this risk only increases after 60 years of age. If you are unsure about your heritage or background, at-home genetic testing is an easy and accessible way to find out.

Our knowledge about the connection between glaucoma and genetics is still not as comprehensive as the medical community wants it to be. However, most doctors agree that glaucoma is hereditary. This means that patients with a parent or sibling with glaucoma are at greater risk. The risk increases exponentially if you have an identical twin who also has glaucoma. If you have a blood relative with glaucoma, Dr. Choi suggests scheduling glaucoma screenings in Birmingham, AL.

Glaucoma treatment options

If you or your loved one has been diagnosed with glaucoma, it is important to act fast to slow the progression of the disease. Dr. Young H. Choi advocates for regular glaucoma tests and eye examinations in Birmingham, AL, especially if you are at genetic risk. When you arrive at Young H. Choi, M.D. Eye Surgery Center, we can review glaucoma causes and treatment options together. Learn how we can significantly improve your eye health by contacting our team for an appointment. We work diligently to provide compassionate care within a safe and welcoming environment.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.