About Open Angle Glaucoma
Chronic open-angle glaucoma is the most common form of glaucoma in the United States. The risk of developing chronic open-angle glaucoma increases with age. The drainage angle of the eye becomes less efficient over time, and pressure within the eye gradually increases, which can damage the optic nerve. In some patients, the optic nerve becomes sensitive even to normal eye pressures and is at risk for damage. Treatment is necessary to prevent further vision loss.
Symptoms Of Open Angle Glaucoma
Typically, open-angle glaucoma has no symptoms in its early stages, and vision remains normal. As the optic nerve becomes more damaged, blank spots begin to appear in the field of vision. You typically won’t notice these blank spots in your day-to-day activities until the optic nerve is significantly damaged and these spots become large. If all the optic nerve fibers die, blindness results.
Open Angle Glaucoma Risk Factors
Your ophthalmologist considers many kinds of information to determine your risk for developing this disease. The most important risk factors include:
- Elevated eye pressure
- Family history of glaucoma
- African or Hispanic ancestry
- Past eye injuries
- Thinner central corneal thickness
- Systemic health problems, including diabetes, migraine headaches, and poor circulation
Your ophthalmologist will weigh all of these factors before deciding whether you need treatment for glaucoma, or whether you should be monitored closely as a glaucoma suspect. This means your risk of developing glaucoma is higher than normal, and you need to have regular eye examinations to detect the early signs of damage to the optic nerve.