Patients should consult with a glaucoma specialist as soon as they are diagnosed, as immediate treatment of early stage glaucoma can prevent the progression of the disease. Patients with risk factors for developing glaucoma should also consult with a glaucoma specialist.
Anyone can develop glaucoma, but diabetics, African Americans over the age of 40, anyone over the age of 60, and those with a family history of glaucoma are at increased risk. Other risk factors include high eye pressure, a thin cornea and an abnormal optic nerve. Medicated eye drops can decrease the chances of developing glaucoma by half. Although studies in the 1970s showed that smoking marijuana could lower eye pressure, newer studies by the National Eye Institute and the Institute of Medicine show that marijuana is no more effective than modern medications.