Risk Factors for Glaucoma

Glaucoma, unlike other eye diseases, does not have a variety of warning signs to make the presence of the disease evident. Additionally, is not preventable and can cause irreversible vision loss or even blindness if left untreated. The eye condition damages the optic nerve progressively. The optic nerve transmits visual signals from the eyes to your brain to necessitate vision.

Optic nerve damage often occurs due to increased pressure in the eye. However, glaucoma can still develop when your eyes have normal pressure. Most forms of the condition have no early signs to warn an individual of danger. The effects occur gradually, and you may only notice changes in your vision in the last stages.

Thus, regular eye exams are essential for measuring your eye pressure. You can prevent or slow vision loss if the condition is detected early. Read on to learn glaucoma risk factors so you can get your eyes checked for early treatment.


Intraocular Pressure

High eye pressure can increase your risk for the condition. Fortunately, this factor is modifiable. Most treatments focus on reducing IOP through laser, surgery, or medications.  


Family History

You have a high risk of glaucoma if your first-degree relatives, such as siblings or parents, have the condition. It is essential to advise your relatives to get comprehensive eye examinations to know if glaucoma runs in your family.



Patients with nearsightedness and myopia have a high risk of developing glaucoma. Their optic nerve has vulnerability to pressure in the eye. 


Corneal Thickness

The anatomy of the eye can influence glaucoma risk factors. For instance, individuals with thin corneas have a high risk of developing glaucoma.



Individuals over 60 years old are at a high risk of getting the condition. However, African Americans’ risk increases after 40 years of age. Each year of growing older increases the risk of the disease.


Ethnicity and Race

Hispanic and African people have an increased risk of developing glaucoma compared to individuals of other races and ethnicities. Africans develop glaucoma more than Caucasians. They also have a high risk of suffering permanent vision due to the condition.

Individuals of Japanese descent have a higher risk of developing low-tension glaucoma, while those of Asian descent get angle closure glaucoma. Elderly populations of Latin Americans are also at risk. Experts have not yet known the ideal reason for this risk.


Medical Conditions 

People suffering from high blood pressure or diabetes have a raised risk of developing glaucoma. Your cardiovascular and general health relies on control of your blood pressure and sugar levels. Your eye health needs a proper flow of blood to your optic nerve. 

Uncontrolled chronic hypertension can lead to vision loss due to glaucoma. If you overtreat hypertension, you can experience low blood pressure. With low blood pressure, your glaucoma risk increases by damaging your optic nerve and increasing further vision loss.


Use of Corticosteroid 

The prolonged use of corticosteroids increases the risk of glaucoma for some individuals.


Eye Injuries 

Your eye pressure can increase immediately after a severe trauma like getting hit in your eye. You can also get a future increase in intraocular pressure when a physical injury causes internal damage. Your eye lens can get dislocated due to an injury. As a result, it leads to increased eye pressure due to a dislocated drainage angle.


For more about glaucoma risk factors, contact San Marcos Vision Center at our office in San Marcos, Texas. Call (512) 890-0660 to book an appointment today.

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