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Glaucoma Risk Factors

Because chronic forms of glaucoma can damage vision it is important to be aware of the key risk factors.

  • Ocular Hypertension ( High Interocular Pressure IOP) . People with elevated IOP are at increased risk of developing glaucoma. Not everyone who has Ocular Hypertension develops glaucoma however.

  • Age: People over the age of 60 are at increased risk of glaucoma.

  • Ethnic Background: African-Americans are six times more likely to develop glaucoma than the Caucasian population and need to monitor for the disease earlier as signs of the disease often appear from as early as 30. Those of Asian or Eskimo descent are more at risk for Closed-Angle Glaucoma. Japanese are at greater risk for Normal Tension Glaucoma.

  • Family History of Glaucoma if your family has a history of glaucoma you are at increased risk of developing it. Glaucoma may have a genetic link. Some specific genes have been linked to juvenile open-angle glaucoma.

  • Medical Conditions several medical conditions can lead to secondary glaucoma including diabetes, hypothyroidism, leukemia, sickle cell anemia and arthritis. High blood pressure and Cardiovascular diseases can also increase the risk.

  • Prior Ocular Injurieseye traumas and injury can cause increased interocular pressure or cause the lens to dislocate and block the drainage angle. Retinal detachment, eye tumors and inflammations as well as eye surgery can lead to secondary glaucoma.


  • Steroid or Cortisone Useparticularly inhaled corticosteroids can induce glaucoma.

  • Myopiai:people who have severe near-sightedness are at increased risk of developing glaucoma