Are You at Risk For Glaucoma?
Certain groups are at higher risk for glaucoma.
Glaucoma strikes earlier and progresses faster in African Americans, and is the leading cause of blindness.
People Over 60
The risk of glaucoma increases with age—especially over the age of 60.
Family Members with Glaucoma
The most common type of glaucoma, primary open-angle glaucoma, can be hereditary. If members of your immediate family have glaucoma, you are at a much higher risk than the rest of the population. Family history increases risk of glaucoma four to nine times.
Hispanics in Older Age Groups
Recent studies indicate that the risk for Hispanic populations is greater than those of predominantly European ancestry, and that the risk increases significantly among Hispanics over age 60.
People of Asian descent appear to be at increased risk for angle-closure glaucoma.
Some evidence links steroid use to glaucoma. A 1997 study reported in the Journal of American Medical Association demonstrated a 40% increase in the incidence of ocular hypertension and open-angle glaucoma in adults who require approximately 14 to 35 puffs of steroid inhaler to control asthma. This is a very high dose, only required in cases of severe asthma.
Injury to the eye may cause secondary open-angle glaucoma. This type of glaucoma can occur immediately after the injury or years later.
Blunt injuries that “bruise” the eye (called blunt trauma) or injuries that penetrate the eye can damage the eye’s drainage system, leading to traumatic glaucoma.
The most common causes are sports-related injuries such as baseball or boxing.
Other Risk Factors
Other possible risk factors include:
- High myopia (nearsightedness)
- Central corneal thickness less than .5 mm