How Early Can Glaucoma Develop in Adults?

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Glaucoma can be one of the most devastating diagnoses a person can receive regarding their vision, particularly in its later stages, when permanent and total blindness may be unavoidable. However, when caught early, the main forms of glaucoma are manageable. At Ophthalmology Associates of the Valley (OAV), our Los Angeles, CA glaucoma specialists are committed to offering the most modern and effective array of diagnostic and treatment technologies possible to help patients avoid the unwanted consequences of glaucoma and preserve their vision for as long as possible. If you're like many people, you may assume that glaucoma isn't something you need to worry about until you're older — but you may also be surprised to learn that glaucoma can affect people of all ages, including infants in certain cases. Read on for more information about who is at risk for glaucoma, what age you should start being screened for glaucoma, and how glaucoma can be treated should you develop it.

When do I need to start worrying about glaucoma?

Our team is dedicated to helping patients enjoy lifelong eye health and clear vision, and we never want patients to "worry" about glaucoma and other issues excessively. However, it is essential to be aware of potential eye conditions and, most importantly, to undergo regular eye exams as recommended — which is typically once a year for patients with average eye health and risk factors. Because glaucoma can develop at any age and usually produces few or no obvious symptoms until it has progressed fairly significantly, our providers screen for glaucoma — characterized primarily by elevated eye pressures — at all of our comprehensive eye exams, regardless of the patient's age.

What age groups are at risk for glaucoma?

There are several different types of glaucoma, the most common of which is known as open-angle glaucoma. The majority of patients diagnosed with glaucoma are aged 40 – 45 and older, though glaucoma can (and is) diagnosed in babies, children, young adults, and elderly patients as well. Again, because glaucoma does not discriminate based on age, all patients should have their eye pressures evaluated during their regularly scheduled routine eye exams.

What are the risk factors for glaucoma?

In some cases, patients develop glaucoma without any known risk factors, though many patients with the condition do fall into one or more of the glaucoma high-risk groups listed below:

  • Are 45 years of age or older
  • Do not get regular eye exams
  • Have a family history of glaucoma
  • Experience abnormally high eye pressure
  • Are of African heritage
  • Have preexisting health conditions, such as diabetes
  • Are nearsighted
  • Have experienced some form of eye trauma
  • Have taken corticosteroids for extended periods of time

How is glaucoma treated?

While there is no current cure for glaucoma in Los Angeles, many cases can be successfully treated or managed to prevent further loss of vision and optic nerve damage, especially when caught early. Depending on the nature and severity of a patient's glaucoma, their symptoms, their overall health, and other individual factors, our ophthalmologists may recommend one of several advanced glaucoma treatment options available at OAV, including prescription eye drops to lower eye pressures, minimally invasive surgical intervention known as MIGS, another surgical procedure, laser glaucoma treatment, or something else. With a comprehensive range of cutting-edge tools and technologies, we are here to help you manage your glaucoma and continue enjoying all that life puts in front of you.

Don't let glaucoma — the silent thief — steal one of your most precious assets. Protect your vision with a glaucoma screening near Los Angeles, CA

Whether you already know you're at elevated risk for glaucoma, you've received a glaucoma diagnosis and are seeking advanced treatment options, or you are simply ready to take charge of your preventive eye health screenings, don't hesitate to call our caring team at Ophthalmology Associates of the Valley to schedule your eye exam and glaucoma assessment today.

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