Glaucoma Risk Factors

The risk factors for glaucoma depend upon the type of glaucoma. Below is a list of risk factors, according to the National Glaucoma Research Program.

Open Angle Glaucoma

Strong Risk Factors

•    High eye pressure
•    Family history of glaucoma
•    Age 40 and older for African Americans
•    Age 60 and older for the general population, especially Mexican Americans 
•    Thin cornea
•    Suspicious optic nerve appearance with increased cupping (the size of cup and space at the center of the optic nerve is larger than normal) 

Potential Risk Factors

•    High myopia (very severe nearsightedness)
•    Diabetes
•    Eye surgery or injury
•    High blood pressure
•    Use of corticosteroids (e.g. eye drops, pills, inhalers and creams)

Normal Tension Glaucoma

Risk Factors

•    Cardiovascular disease
•    Family history
•    Low eye pressure
•    Japanese ethnicity

Angle Closure Glaucoma

Risk Factors

•    Age
•    Family history
•    Poor short-distance vision (farsightedness)
•    Eye injury or eye surgery
•    East Asian and Inuit ethnicity

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