Glaucoma Risk Factors

Everyone is at risk for glaucoma. However, certain groups are at higher risk than others.

People at high risk for glaucoma should get a complete eye exam, including eye dilation, at least every one or two years depending on age. We would advise joining our Eye Care for Life programmes to allow for 6 monthly examinations using our cutting-edge diagnostic technology.

The following are groups at higher risk for developing glaucoma.

People Over 60

Glaucoma is much more common among older people. You are six times more likely to get glaucoma if you are over 60 years old. Around 1 in 20 people aged over 80 years have glaucoma. Many of them however do not realise it!

Family Members with Glaucoma

The most common type of glaucoma, primary open-angle glaucoma, is potentially 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.

African Descent

After cataracts, glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness among people of African descent. Glaucoma is six to eight times more common in individual of African descent than in Caucasians.


People of Asian descent appear to be at increased risk for angle-closure glaucoma. Angle-closure glaucoma accounts for less than 10% of all diagnosed cases of glaucoma. People of Japanese descent are at higher risk for normal-tension glaucoma.

Steroid Users

Some evidence links steroid use to glaucoma.

Eye Injury

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 cause is sports-related injuries such boxing.

Other Risk Factors

Other possible risk factors include:

  • High myopia (near-sightedness)
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Central corneal thickness less than 0.5 mm.