Your eyes are a nice round shape, aren't they? That's partly thanks to the fluid tension or intraocular pressure inside your eyeballs. But if the fluid that flows throughout the interior spaces of your eyes gets blocked or drains too slowly, the interior pressure can increase, affecting the optic nerve, putting you at risk for glaucoma.
Glaucoma Causes and Risk Factors
1 AnswerRealAge answered
1 AnswerGlaucoma is NOT always caused by high eye pressure. Glaucoma can be caused by any of the following problems: fluid buildup in the eye; poor blood flow to the eye; or damage to the optic nerve.
1 AnswerPigmentary glaucoma can run in families as an autosomal dominant trait. As such, it can occur to varying degrees in 50% of the offspring of an individual with this condition. There is no proven relationship between autoimmune disease, including thyroid disease, and pigmentary glaucoma. However, autoimmune disease, including vitiligo, has been implicated as a risk factor for or may be seen in association with other types of glaucoma.
1 AnswerChanges in altitude do not significantly alter the eye pressure or have an effect on glaucoma. Since the eye is filled with fluid instead of air, changes in pressure related to altitude have a negligible effect (including the increased pressure associated with scuba diving).
1 AnswerBoth high and low thyroid function have been implicated as risk factors for glaucoma, though the evidence from large epidemiologic studies is not consistent.
In states of excessive function of the thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism), the increase in thyroid hormone can lead to Grave’s disease, which is often characterized by congestion of the tissues around the eye and in the orbit, enlargement of the eye muscles, as well as scarring around the eye. In this condition, eye movements against tight or restricted eye muscles can lead to elevations in the eye pressure that are generally temporary but can in some cases lead to glaucomatous optic-nerve damage.
Low thyroid states (hypothyroidism), however, are much more common. Several studies have implicated hypothyroidism as a risk factor for glaucoma, though again the studies are not consistent. One theory is that hypothyroidism can lead to accumulation of abnormal substances in the drainage system in the eye, which would lead to elevation of the eye pressure, the primary known risk factor for the development of glaucoma.
Ongoing research will help to better define the role of thyroid disease in glaucoma and increase our understanding of the mechanisms involved.
1 AnswerOne of the primary risk factors for glaucoma is family history. Therefore, a genetic predisposition to glaucoma that runs in families is common. How glaucoma presents within a family, however, is quite variable among different individuals. How a particular trait or gene presents within different members of a family is called expression. The genetic predisposition to glaucoma can be expressed differently in different individuals. Generally, the younger the age at which glaucoma presents, the higher the eye pressure and the more difficult it is to treat compared to older individuals. If your family has a strong genetic predisposition to glaucoma, it is important for everyone to be sure they see an eye doctor early in life and then be checked regularly.
1 AnswerJohns Hopkins Medicine answered
In addition to open-angle and acute glaucoma, rarer forms of the illness exist. Among the causes:
- Eye defects that developed before birth (congenital glaucoma)
- Eye injuries
- Eye tumors
- Medical problems, such as diabetes
- Corticosteroid medications
4 AnswersJohns Hopkins Medicine answered
Glaucoma tends to run in families and it is five times more common in African-Americans than in Caucasians. However, the risk increases with age in all ethnicities. Chronic glaucoma, which affects 1 percent to 2 percent of Americans older than 40, is much more common than acute glaucoma. The chronic form develops over time, while acute glaucoma attacks suddenly.
6 AnswersHonor Society of Nursing (STTI) answered
Glaucoma is caused by an accumulation of aqueous humor, the fluid in the front of the eye. Normally, aqueous humor can leave the eye where the cornea and iris meet. Sometimes this drainage system is not working well, allowing the aqueous humor to accumulate. This causes excess pressure in the eye and can damage the optic nerve.Helpful? 1 person found this helpful.
1 AnswerHonor Society of Nursing (STTI) answered
Less-common risks for developing glaucoma include other eye conditions such as thinness of the cornea, problems with the structure of the optic nerve, and retinal detachment. Vision problems such as nearsightedness also presents a higher risk for glaucoma. Diabetes and high blood pressure may also be a contributing factor to the development of glaucoma in some individuals.