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How to Know If You Are at Risk for an Eye Disease

By Gordon Wong, OD on July 31, 2018


Undergoing an eye examWhile our La Jolla, CA practice offers advanced eye care solutions, we acknowledge that prevention and early detection are ideal approaches when it comes to your vision. That’s why we take time to discuss possible eye condition risk factors with our patients.

Below are some risk factors and warning signs related to various eye conditions that result in vision loss. If you notice any of these, you should consider speaking to one of our doctors about your vision concerns.

Are You of Advanced Age?

Many vision problems become more likely as you get older. That’s why when people turn 40, it’s recommended that they visit the eye doctor more often rather than just relying on quick checks on the eye during your annual physical. Among the elderly, the risk of conditions such as macular degeneration and glaucoma are quite high.

Do You Have a Family History of Certain Eye Diseases?

Your genes will usually determine your risk of developing an eye condition. If members of your family have suffered from eye diseases such as glaucoma, you have a much greater risk of also suffering from glaucoma. In such cases, regular eye exams and careful monitoring are ideal.

Do You Smoke?

Smokers are at risk for numerous health problems, from lung cancer to strokes and heart disease. In addition, smoking has been linked to a number of vision problems, such as macular degeneration, glaucoma, and cataracts. Consider this another compelling reason to quite smoking or just never start in the first place.

Do You Drink Alcoholic Beverages?

Having an occasional alcoholic beverage in moderation is okay, but if you drink heavily, it could have a negative impact on your eyes. The chances of developing macular degeneration and cataracts are higher if you drink too much.

Are You a Diabetic?

People with diabetes can face a number of health challenges as they live with their condition. Long-term diabetes can lead to diabetic retinopathy, a condition that affects the blood vessels of the retina. It’s a major cause of vision loss among people with diabetes, so it’s important that you monitor your blood sugar and try to stay healthy.

Are You Obese or Suffer from High Blood Pressure?

Obesity and hypertension are both major risk factors for a number of health problems. Both may be contributing factors to developing diabetes. In addition, these conditions have been linked to glaucoma and macular degeneration as well. Do your best to eat healthy, stay active, and maintain a healthy weight.

Have You Suffered a Previous Eye Injury?

Previous eye injuries could make future eye problems more likely. This is particularly true of severe eye trauma, such as punters to the eye, abrasions to the cornea, and retinal detachment.

Are You Out in the Sun a Lot?

The UV rays of the sun can do a lot of damage to your skin if you’re outdoors. Your eyes can also be adversely impacted. Excessive sun exposure has been linked to an increased risk of cataracts. Be sure to wear sunglasses as well as a hat with a brim when outdoors.

Has Your Vision Changed Noticeably in the Last 12 Months?

Gradual vision changes are natural. However, a precipitous decline in vision in just one year or less is generally a bad sign. Be sure to note any major changes in your prescription as well as issues with peripheral vision. Noticing these issues may be a fortunate step toward early eye condition treatment.

Learn More About Eye Care and Vision

For more information about preventing eye disease and enhancing your vision, be sure to contact the doctors at Gordon Wong Eye Designs & Optometry. We are here to help you see clearly for many years to come.

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Dr. Wong and his staff have proven to be the best eye doctor that I have ever visited. He is extremely thorough and up-to-date professionally. He gives you plenty of time. I never feel rushed.

Kathrine Holladay

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