In general, all individuals between 35-40 years should undergo an eye examination, which should include IOP measurement and examination of the optic nerve head. In general, after the age of 40 years, check up should preferably be done every 2-3 years and 1-2 years check up is advised after the age of 60 years. The appropriate time intervals between check-ups may vary, please discuss this with your ophthalmologist.
All individuals with a positive family history of glaucoma should undergo comprehensive eye examination, and maintain follow-up at regular intervals. It does not mean all siblings will have the disease, but siblings of glaucoma patients have up to 10 times the risk to develop glaucoma as compared to the normal population.
Patients with diabetes and systemic hypertension also need regular check up for glaucoma.
During routine visits, your eye doctor may be able to identify additional risk factors for glaucoma development, such as: (i) a thin cornea, (ii) being very nearsighted or very farsighted, (iii) having intraocular pressure measurements above 22 mmHg, or (iv) having a narrow angle or narrow anterior chamber. These factors may increase your risk of glaucoma and hence may require closer follow-up. Individuals with African ancestry may be at higher risk for open angle glaucoma, and those with Chinese ancestry may be at higher risk for angle closure glaucoma.
It is important for you to get yourself regularly screened for glaucoma. If you have been diagnosed to have glaucoma, effective treatment options are now available and regular treatment and follow up can help you to preserve your vision for your lifetime, avoiding unnecessary fear of going blind.
You can live happily with glaucoma and enjoy an excellent quality of life, particularly if the disease is detected early and treated in time. Always remember that once you have glaucoma, you will have to be under the care of an eye doctor for the rest of your life.
There is a lot of research going on and new treatments may become available for glaucoma in the near future.