Eye Problems That Are More Common in Minorities

Your race, in addition to your family background, age, and gender can influence your susceptibility to certain eye diseases. Minority groups, like many other health issues, are more vulnerable to eye disease and vision loss. Glaucoma in reality, is the leading cause of blindness in African Americans and Hispanics in the United States.

What Eye Conditions Are More Common in Minorities?

eye problems that are more common in minorities

Glaucoma is most often caused by high eye pressure which affects the optic nerve and is one of the leading causes vision loss. African-Americans develop glaucoma five times faster than Caucasians, according to the Glaucoma Foundation. That isn’t it, however. African-Americans, on average, are 10 years younger than other ethnic groups when it comes to developing the disease. Diabetes and a family history of glaucoma raise the risk even more.

Diabetic retinopathy is a disease in which the vessels that supply the retina are continuously damaged. If the damage worsens, it can result in vision loss or even blindness. Diabetic retinopathy is more common in African-Americans and Hispanic-Americans than in other ethnic groups. This is due to the fact that they have a higher risk of diabetes, including undiagnosed diabetes.

Cataracts cause the lens in the eye to become cloudy, making it difficult to see clearly. This will eventually result in vision loss. Cataracts are more common in older people but they also grow more frequently in African-American and Hispanic-American people, according to the AAO.

The good news is that regular eye tests can help diagnose problems early and avoid vision loss. If you know you’re at a higher risk, schedule daily appointments with an ophthalmologist to control your eye health, take the appropriate measures to treat eye disease, and avoid vision loss.

What Steps To Take to Reduce the Risk

eye problems that are more common in minorities

Everyone should take measures to minimize their risk of contracting eye diseases. However, if you are predisposed to such disorders, it is much more important to do anything possible to reduce the risk of developing an eye disease. Take the following measures into consideration:

Have your eyes checked as soon as possible. When it comes to getting a thorough eye test, follow the eye doctor’s advice. Starting at age 35, the Glaucoma Foundation suggests that African-Americans get a thorough eye exam to screen for glaucoma. Your doctor may suggest a different schedule based on other risk factors.

Avoid smoking. Smoking raises the risk of developing diseases that cause vision problems.

Keep your blood pressure in check. High blood pressure can cause a variety of health problems, including vision problems. Consult your doctor on ways to keep your blood pressure in check.

Exercise on a daily basis. Exercise will help you avoid heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure, all of which can increase the risk of developing eye disease.

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