Is There Hereditary and Non-hereditary Glaucoma?

The term glaucoma refers to a series of diseases that irreversibly damage the optic nerve and can lead to vision loss and blindness, if left untreated. One significant risk factor is increased pressure inside the eye. Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the world after cataracts. Everyone is at risk for glaucoma, and there are no fundamental difference between hereditary and non-hereditary forms of the disease. However, those that are genetically predisposed to glaucoma are at higher risk of contracting the disease. Here is a list of other high-risk groups for developing glaucoma.

Family History

Individuals with a history of glaucoma in their family are 4 to 9 times more likely to develop the disease themselves. Family history is one of the primary risk factors for developing glaucoma. Primary open-angle glaucoma is the most common form of this disease and up to 10% of all cases have been linked to genetic mutations. In addition primary congenital glaucoma which affects children from birth to three has also been associated with genetic mutations as well. It is important to note that, even if you carry these genetic abnormalities, it does not mean you will develop glaucoma, however, you do have a higher risk of developing it.

Glaucoma, usually, affects the elderly. However, when a young person develops glaucoma it is almost always hereditary. This is important because the young who are when you develop the disease the higher your eye pressure tends to be. This makes treating the disease more difficult than usual.
Anyone with a family history of glaucoma should talk to an eye care professional and be tested for the disease. The sooner it is diagnosed, the sooner it can be treated.

Eye Injury

Those who sustain injury to the eye or experience a scratch on the cornea can develop secondary open angle glaucoma either right after the injury or years down the line. For those who sustain blunt force trauma to their eyes that caused bruising or sustained an injury that punctured the eye may develop traumatic glaucoma. This is mainly seen in sports injuries, particularly those experienced by boxers and football players. Glaucoma mediation is usually used to treat traumatic glaucoma, however if this does not prove successful surgery may be necessary. In addition, other eye conditions such as nearsightedness can cause eye injuries to be more serious.

Others at Risk

• People over 60
• Those who are nearsighted.
• Those taking any steroids at high doses.
• Those who have certain medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, or sickle cell anemia.
• Those who have early onset estrogen deficiency.
• Those who have used eye drops over an extended period of time.

Glaucoma is often called the “sneak thief” of sight because the disease slowly deteriorates your sight, with little to no symptoms. Some symptoms can be blurry vision, headache, dizziness and nausea. This is why it is important for anyone, with high risk for developing glaucoma, to get regular eye exams.

If you fall into one of these high-risk categories and are experiencing symptoms, or simply just have questions and concerns about glaucoma, feel free to Dr. Ghosheh, today, at 1-888-439-6565. To schedule a consultation, or appointment, go to