Risk Factors for Glaucoma
En Español (Spanish Version)

A risk factor is something that increases your likelihood of getting a disease or condition.

It is possible to develop glaucoma with or without the risk factors listed below. However, the more risk factors you have, the greater your likelihood of developing glaucoma. If you have any risk factors for glaucoma, ask your healthcare provider if there is anything you can do to reduce your risk.

Risk factors for glaucoma include:

Family History of Glaucoma
If someone in your family has glaucoma, your risk of getting glaucoma is increased. Glaucoma may be inherited. However, if someone in your family has glaucoma, you will not necessarily develop the disease.

Race
African Americans, especially after age 40 are at increased risk. Hispanics also have a high risk of developing glaucoma. Asians are more like to develop closed-angle glaucoma than other races.

Age
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the risk of getting glaucoma increases after age 50. For African Americans the risk generally increases after age 40. However, glaucoma can occur in anyone at any age.

High Intraocular Pressure
People with an elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) have an increased risk of developing glaucoma. However, even people with normal pressures can develop glaucoma.

Thin Cornea
Having a thinner corneas, the clear structures at the front of the eye, has been associated with an increased risk of developing glaucoma.

High Blood Pressure
Some studies have shown that having high blood pressure increases the risk of glaucoma. However, this is still controversial.

Diabetes
Some studies have shown that diabetes is associated with an increased risk of developing glaucoma.

Refractive Errors
If you are nearsighted or farsighted, you are at increased risk of glaucoma.

Regular, Long-term Steroid/Cortisone Use
Long-term use of all forms of corticosteroids may increases the risk of glaucoma by increasing the pressure in the eye.

Previous Eye Injury or Eye Surgery
An eye injury may damage structures in the eye leading to impaired fluid drainage. Complications of eye surgery may also sometimes lead to glaucoma.

Cardiovascular Disease or Insufficient Blood Flow
People with cardiovascular disease or conditions resulting in decreased blood flow to the eye may be at an increased risk of developing glaucoma.

Hypothyroidism
Hypothyroidism has also been identified as a possible factor.




References:
Ellis JD, Evans JM, et al. Glaucoma incidence in an unselected cohort of diabetic patients: is diabetes mellitus a risk factor for glaucoma? DARTS/MEMO collaboration. Diabetes Audit and Research in Tayside Study. Medicines Monitoring Unit. Br J Ophthalmol. 2000;84:1218.

Facts about glaucoma. National Eye Institute website. Available at: http://www.nei.nih.gov/health/glaucoma/glaucoma_facts.asp. Accessed July 16, 2013.

Heijl A, Leske MC, et al. Reduction of intraocular pressure and glaucoma progression: results from the Early Manifest Glaucoma Trial. Arch Ophthalmol. 2002;120:1268.

Girkin CA, McGwin G Jr, et al. Hypothyroidism and the development of open-angle glaucoma in a male population. Ophthalmology. 2004;111:1649.

Open-angle glaucoma. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what. Updated June 6, 2013. Accessed July 16, 2013.

What is glaucoma? Glaucoma Research Foundation website. Available at: http://www.glaucoma.org/glaucoma. Accessed July 16, 2013.

Who is at risk for glaucoma? American Academy of Ophthalmology website. Available at: http://www.geteyesmart.org/eyesmart/diseases/glaucoma-risk.cfm. Accessed July 16, 2013.

Last Reviewed May 2014



Health Information Library content is provided by EBSCO Publishing, fully accredited by URAC. URAC is an independent, nonprofit health care accrediting organization dedicated to promoting health care quality through accreditation, certification and commendation.

 

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

 

To send comments or feedback to EBSCO's Editorial Team regarding the content please e-mail healthlibrarysupport@ebscohost.com.