Is Glaucoma Hereditary?

Is Glaucoma Hereditary?

As you get older, you take additional steps to protect yourself. You might get physicals more regularly or be more conscientious about what you eat or how frequently you exercise. Don’t stop there, though. You should also get regular eye exams, especially if you have a family history of glaucoma. 

Here at the Benjamin Optical offices throughout New York City, our team of glaucoma experts can help you protect your vision against this leading cause of blindness. While everyone should get checked regularly for this condition, it’s especially important to get screenings early and often if you have a family history of glaucoma. Why? Because it’s hereditary. 

The hereditary nature of glaucoma

Several types of glaucoma can affect your eyes. In any case, glaucoma causes damage to your optic nerve, which allows you to see.

The most common type of glaucoma is open-angle glaucoma. It causes a slow buildup of pressure in your eye and eventually presses on your optic nerve so much that you lose your vision. Open-angle glaucoma is a hereditary condition. 

If you have a family history of glaucoma, you’re at least four times more likely than the average person to develop this eye condition. 

Protecting your eyesight

While other types of glaucoma can cause a sudden loss of eyesight, open-angle glaucoma develops slowly over time — so much so that you might not notice symptoms at first. That’s why people with a family history of glaucoma should get screened annually by our Benjamin Optical team. 

To stay on top of possible symptoms yourself, check in with your peripheral vision. If you feel like you’re developing blind spots there or have trouble with your side vision in general, it could be glaucoma. As it progresses, it gives you worse and worse tunnel vision. While open-angle glaucoma only affects your peripheral vision at first, left unchecked, it impacts your central vision. 

Beyond checking your side vision for any changes, the best thing you can do to protect against glaucoma-related vision loss is to schedule annual eye exams. Here at our offices, our team checks your eye pressure with a quick and easy test. 

When we catch glaucoma early, we can treat it before it causes any long-term vision loss. Many people who get diagnosed with glaucoma early in the condition’s progression can keep it in check with something as simple as medicated eye drops.

If you have a family history of glaucoma — or if it’s been a while since you had your eye pressure checked — call any of our offices or book an appointment online for an eye exam.

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