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Health Day (5/9, Preidt) reported, "Researchers say they've pinpointed a number of factors that may be key to the progression of glaucoma," according to a paper published in the journal Archives of Ophthalmology. Analyzed data of 587 patients "concluded that key risk factors for glaucoma progression included a thinning of the cornea, loss of side vision and an intraocular pressure of 18 or higher."
Dr. Keg's Thoughts
The risk factors listed in this recent summary article have been known to us for quite some time. We perform eye-pressure checks 1-4 times per year depending on individual need. Visual fields (side vision test) need to be performed in all patients who have been diagnosed with glaucoma or have any suspicious findings that make them a glaucoma suspect. Corneal thinning is a measurement we obtain only once as generally the cornea will maintain a stable thickness over the years. Each of these tests is evaluated with other findings to make an accurate risk assessment for the individual. We specifically will note your optic nerve profile, your retinal nerve fiber layer thickness, and your family history.
For patients who have had higher eye-pressure readings, we can provide you with a statistical probability of developing glaucoma in the next five years. This is very helpful as we consider treatment options, which usually includes eye drops. In some cases no drops are needed and continued monitoring is the best medicine.