Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma (cont.)
When to Seek Medical Care
Regular eye examinations with an ophthalmologist are important to screen for primary open-angle glaucoma. In particular, regular eye examinations are critical for people who are at high risk for glaucoma, such as African Americans and elderly individuals.
- For people without any symptoms and who are aged 40 years and younger, screenings should be performed at least every 3-5 years.
- Screenings should be conducted more often if the person is African American or older than 40 years.
- For people with multiple risk factors for glaucoma, evaluation/monitoring should be performed on an even more frequent basis.
Your initial visit to the ophthalmologist is extremely important in the evaluation for primary open-angle glaucoma or other ocular diseases that could be causing elevated intraocular pressure (called secondary glaucoma).
During this visit, the ophthalmologist may ask you about the following:
- Past ocular history
- Eye pain or redness
- Multicolored halos
- Previous eye disease, eye surgery, or eye/head trauma
- Past surgeries or illnesses
- Current medications (Some medications may indirectly cause changes in intraocular pressure.)
- Strong risk factors for optic nerve damage due to glaucoma
- History of elevated intraocular pressure
- Advanced age, particularly people who are older than 40 years
- African American descent
- Family history of glaucoma
- Nearsightedness (myopia)
- Possible risk factors for optic nerve damage due to glaucoma
- Other possible risk factors
Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD
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