Patient Education

Diseases

Glaucoma
Risk Factors

Glaucoma can be found in all populations and in people of all ages; however, researchers have found several general and ocular risk factors.

The general risk factors include age, race, and family history. Although younger people can develop glaucoma, your risk for developing glaucoma greatly increases after the age of 45. Also, it is believed that someone with a close family history of glaucoma is three to six times more likely to develop glaucoma, especially those with a family history of pigmentary glaucoma and juvenile glaucoma. Additionally, glaucoma is not confined to a specific race, but if you are of African American descent, your risk is four times higher to develop primary open angle glaucoma. Asians are more prone to develop angle closure glaucoma than open angle glaucoma, and pigmentary glaucoma is more prevalent in the Caucasian population.

Ocular risk factors need to be considered as well. They include increased or asymmetric intraocular pressures, an enlargement of the optic nerve head cup, narrowing of the neuroretinal rim, asymmetry of the cup-to-disc ratio, and myopia.

Other possible risk factors may include patients who have a history of diabetes mellitis, vasospasm, or high blood pressure.