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What Causes Glaucoma?

Love-Your-Eyes

Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness for people above 60 years old. Although it can occur at any age, this eye disease is much more common in older adults. Glaucoma describes a group of eye conditions that can damage the optic nerve, causing vision loss. Most of the time the damage occurs because of abnormally high intraocular pressure.

Since glaucoma can cause irreversible vision loss or blindness, you may assume it begins with serious, disturbing symptoms. Nothing could be further from the truth! Many types of glaucoma start with absolutely no warning signs. The progression of this eye disease can be so gradual that many people don’t experience any symptoms until glaucoma has reached an advanced stage. That’s why regular eye exams are so important! Make sure to get screened regularly for glaucoma by our eye doctor in Lee's Summit, Missouri.

Causes of glaucoma

The exact cause of glaucoma isn’t understood by scientists, but many people with this ocular disease have high inner eye pressure, which damages the optic nerve – leading to the development of blind spots in your visual field.

What causes your intraocular pressure to rise? Normally, the aqueous humor (internal fluid in the eye) drains out of your eyes through the trabecular meshwork, a tissue located at the angle where your cornea and iris meet. When there is too much of this fluid or the drainage system doesn’t flow properly, eye pressure goes up.

Less commonly, glaucoma is caused by:

  • Blunt trauma or chemical injury to the eye
  • Severe eye infection
  • Blocked blood vessels inside the eye
  • Inflammatory conditions
  • Risk factors for glaucoma
  • Family eye history of glaucoma; scientists have even identified genes related to elevated eye pressure and damage to the optic nerve
  • High intraocular pressure
  • Being over 60 years old
  • Being black, Asian or Hispanic
  • Specific medical conditions, such as heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, and sickle cell anemia
  • Corneas with a thin center
  • Extreme nearsightedness or farsightedness
  • Past eye injury or having had certain types of eye surgery
  • Taking corticosteroid medications for a long time

Eye exams are key to preventing vision loss from glaucoma

While there is no real way to prevent glaucoma, you can significantly reduce your risk of eye damage by making sure your glaucoma is diagnosed as early as possible. Schedule regular eye exams in our Lee's Summit, Missouri, to help prevent glaucoma from damaging your vision.

At Eyecare Specialties, we put your family's needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 816-317-0012 or book an appointment online to see one of our Lee's Summit eye doctors.

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