“Is Glaucoma Hereditary?” This is the third question on our newest blog mini-series, Glaucoma Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).
Board certified ophthalmologist Dr. Samuel Boles specializes in the treatment of glaucoma and cataracts. As Medical Director of the Anne Arundel Eye Center, Dr. Boles as helped restore and preserve thousands of patients’ vision. He is also passionate about educating patients and their families about the various eye diseases they may be afflicted with.
Is Glaucoma Hereditary?
The good news is that glaucoma is not hereditary…not necessarily. If your parents have glaucoma, you will not always develop the eye condition. However, it does increase your risk for glaucoma development. Family history increases risk of glaucoma four to nine times, according to the Glaucoma Research Foundation. If you have primary open-angle glaucoma, the most common form of glaucoma, there is approximately a one-in-five chance that a close relative also has glaucoma (Glaucoma Associates of Texas). Primary open-angle glaucoma accounts for nearly 90% of all glaucoma cases globally.
Additional risk factors for glaucoma development include:
- Being over age 50
- Being over age 40 and African-American
- Having a family history of glaucoma
- Having a history of serious eye injury
- Taking steroid medications
- Having diabetes
- Being nearsighted
- Having high blood pressure
While the American Optometric Association (AOA) recommends that adults, ages 18-60, have their eyes examined every two years, and adults older than 60 have their eyes examined annually, anyone with the above risk factors should have their eyes examined more frequently to catch glaucoma early.
Early diagnosis and treatment are critical to managing glaucoma, as it must be treated over the course of one’s life, and high IOP must be managed every day. Treatment successfully preserves vision 95% of the time or more, especially when the condition is caught early. Unfortunately, glaucoma remains under-diagnosed, with up to half of all people affected by glaucoma unaware they have it.
If you have any questions about our blog, “Is Glaucoma Hereditary?” or wish to schedule an appointment with Anne Arundel Eye Center, please contact board certified ophthalmologist Dr. Samuel Boles, Dr. Corinne Casey, and the eye care specialists here at AAEC by calling 410-224-2010 or visiting AnneArundelEyeCenter.com today. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and YouTube as well!
For more eye care advice and information, please take a look at our previous blog posts.
Frequently asked questions about Glaucoma WebMD
Heredity and Glaucoma Glaucoma Associates of Texas