What are the risk factors for glaucoma?

Updated: Jul 27, 2020
  • Author: Robert H Graham, MD; Chief Editor: Hampton Roy, Sr, MD  more...
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Risk factors that are associated with developing glaucomatous damage include the following:

  • Elevated IOP

  • Suspicious optic nerve head appearance

  • Nerve fiber layer defects

  • Increasing age

  • Family history of glaucoma

  • African American ethnicity

  • Myopia

  • Diabetes mellitus

  • Pseudoexfoliation

  • Pigment dispersion

  • History of ocular trauma with associated angle recession

  • History of uveitis

  • Glaucoma in one eye

  • Narrow anterior chamber angle depth

  • Prior eye surgery

  • Steroid use

  • Migraine headache

  • Cardiovascular disease

  • Tight neck tie [36]

The greater the number and the degree of risk factors, the greater the risk of developing glaucoma over time.

Some risk factors, such as pigment dispersion, increased IOP, suspicious optic nerve head appearance, increasing age, glaucoma in one eye, pseudoexfoliation, a strong family history of glaucoma, and race (ie, African American), are more important than other factors.

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