Glaucoma Risk Factors
The following factors can increase the risk for developing glaucoma:
People over age 60 are at increased risk for the disease. African Americans, however, are at increased risk after age 40. The risk of developing glaucoma increases slightly with each year of age.
African Americans are significantly more likely to get glaucoma than Caucasians, and they are much more likely to suffer permanent vision loss. People of Asian descent and Native Alaskans are at higher risk of angle-closure glaucoma. People of Japanese descent are more likely to develop low-tension glaucoma.
Family history of glaucoma
Having a family history of glaucoma increases the risk of developing glaucoma.
Some studies indicate that diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease may increase the risk of developing glaucoma.
Physical injuries to the eye
Severe trauma, such as being hit in the eye, can result in immediate increased eye pressure. Internal damage from such a trauma can also cause future increases in pressure. Injury can also dislocate the lens, closing the drainage angle and increasing pressure.
Other eye-related risk factors
Certain features of eye anatomy, namely thinner corneas and optic nerve sensitivity, indicate an increased risk for developing glaucoma. Conditions such as retinal detachment, eye tumors and eye inflammations may also trigger glaucoma. Some studies suggest that high amounts of nearsightedness may also be a risk factor for glaucoma.
Using corticosteroids (including cortisone, hydrocortisone and prednisone) for prolonged periods of time appears to put some people at risk of getting secondary glaucoma.