Glaucoma, a silent, progressive eye disease, is one of the world's leading causes of blindness. Although glaucoma can affect anyone, some people are at increased risk of developing the disease. Regular eye examinations are crucial for early detection of glaucoma.

What is glaucoma?

Glaucoma is an eye disease characterized by damage to the optic nerve, usually associated with high intraocular pressure. This pressure can progressively damage the optic nerve, leading to irreversible vision loss. Knowing the risk factors can contribute to early detection and effective management of the disease.

The main risk factors include:


The risk of glaucoma increases with age. People over 60 are more likely to develop the disease. However, glaucoma can also occur at an earlier age, especially if there is a family history.

Family history

People with family members who have glaucoma have an increased risk of developing the disease. A family history is essential for regular eye examinations.

Ethnic origin

Specific populations, including African Americans, Hispanics and Asians, have a higher risk of glaucoma. In addition, African Americans often have a more aggressive form of the disease.

Underlying health problems

Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, can increase the risk of glaucoma. It is, therefore, crucial to maintain good general health to prevent eye complications.

Severe myopia

People with severe myopia have an increased risk of glaucoma. Frequent eye examinations with an Optometrist are essential to monitor eye health. 

Prolonged steroid use

Long-term use of steroids, whether in the form of eye drops, tablets or injections, can increase intraocular pressure and increase the risk of glaucoma. People undergoing steroid treatment should be closely monitored.

Prevention and early detection

Glaucoma prevention is based on awareness, regular eye examinations and proactive management of risk factors. Regular visits to your eye doctor can enable early detection, offering a better prospect of slowing or preventing the progression of the disease.

If you belong to an at-risk group or have risk factors, talk to your Optometrist. Preventive measures like intraocular pressure monitoring and regular optic nerve examinations can help maintain healthy vision.

While glaucoma can pose a serious threat to vision, knowledge of risk factors and preventive management can be crucial in preserving eye health. Investing in comprehensive eye exams with your trusted Optometrist is an investment in long-term vision.