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I have had glaucoma for years. In the early years my eye pressures were managed by the use of eye drops. Then, very suddenly, I lost much of the vision in my left eye. It happened in only a day or so. And, it has proven to be irreversible. After that experience and the significant vision loss I have had far more aggressive management of my glaucoma, including multiple surgeries. Fortunately, the vision in my right eye has been protected from deterioration.

My situation is not unlike that of many others. How does a person know when there is a significant risk of vision loss due to glaucoma? Researchers may have found an answer.

New Model Predicts Glaucoma Risk

Researchers say they’ve developed a model that predicts which patients would most benefit from treatments that ward off glaucoma.

The model uses five key risk factors in order to predict glaucoma risk. These factors are age; pressure within the eye; cup/disc ratio (a measure of the appearance of the optic nerve head); thickness of the cornea; and “pattern standard deviation” — a measure derived from computerized field vision tests.

“When you enter these five factors — and our model is based on the average of factors between the two eyes — you can determine an individual’s risk of developing glaucoma during the next five years,” lead researcher Mae Gordon, professor in the department of ophthalmology at Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, said in a prepared statement.

There is much to see in my beautiful home state of Florida. None of us should allow a silent disease like glaucoma to steal our vision. There are effective medical treatments and surgical procedures.

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