Are you prone to open-angle glaucoma?
People who are prone to glaucoma have risk factors for glaucoma, but optic nerve damage has not (yet) been proven. Most people prone to glaucoma will never develop glaucoma. But, once vision is lost, we cannot restore it, so the key is deciding who to treat among people prone to glaucoma.
There are 2 main types of glaucoma, open-angle and angle-closure, and people who are prone to either are different. People who are prone to open-angle glaucoma have one or more eye conditions that suggest a higher risk of having or developing glaucoma than the average person. For example, their eye pressure (IOP) measurement may be higher than the average range.
People prone to glaucoma who have higher than average IOP but no optic nerve damage are called ocular hypertensives. In some eyes, the actual IOP is lower than measured because the cornea (the clear front part of the eye) is thicker than average. A large clinical study found that ocular hypertensives develop true glaucoma at a rate of about 2% per year and that the rate is cut in half if IOP-lowering eye drops are applied. When patients were divided into high-, medium- and low-risk categories based on several factors measured at the start of the study, the high-risk group had the highest risk of developing glaucoma over time and also benefited the most from IOP-lowering treatment.
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