Eye Health 6 Glaucoma Risk Factors to Know By Eye Center, March 9, 2014 Known as the silent thief of sight — glaucoma — a chronic, progressive disease that leads to damage of the optic nerve, is the second leading cause of blindness in the world. According to the Glaucoma Research Foundation, more than 2.2 million Americans are affected, but only half of those know they have it. While it is typically a disease that affects older adults, anyone — including children — can be affected. Early diagnosis is the most important factor in preventing vision loss. By diagnosing early, eye doctors are able to tailor the treatments and help slow progression of the disease. Having regular eye exams is an important part of maintaining good eye health. During your eye exams, the doctor will discuss risk factors including: Age Family history Medical conditions Ethnicity Prolonged use of certain medications Elevated ocular pressure If you are diagnosed with glaucoma there are a number of different treatment options available ranging from eye drops to medication to surgery. To find out if you’re at risk, call 412-647-2200 to schedule an appointment with one of our eye doctors.