Glaucoma

  • Medical Author:
    Andrew A. Dahl, MD, FACS

    Andrew A. Dahl, MD, is a board-certified ophthalmologist. Dr. Dahl's educational background includes a BA with Honors and Distinction from Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT, and an MD from Cornell University, where he was selected for Alpha Omega Alpha, the national medical honor society. He had an internal medical internship at the New York Hospital/Cornell Medical Center.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Quick GuideCommon Eye Problems and Infections

Common Eye Problems and Infections

What are glaucoma risk factors?

Glaucoma is often called "the sneak thief of sight." This is because, as already mentioned, in most cases, the intraocular pressure can build up and destroy sight without causing obvious symptoms. Thus, awareness and early detection of glaucoma are extremely important because this disease can usually be successfully treated when diagnosed early. While everyone is at risk for glaucoma, certain people are at a much higher risk and need to be checked more frequently by their eye doctor. The major risk factors for glaucoma include the following:

  • Age over 45 years
  • Family history of glaucoma
  • Black racial ancestry
  • Diabetes
  • History of elevated intraocular pressure
  • Decrease in corneal thickness and rigidity
  • Nearsightedness (high degree of myopia), which is the inability to see distant objects clearly
  • History of injury to the eye
  • Use of cortisone (steroids), either in the eye or systemically (orally or injected)
  • Farsightedness (hyperopia), which is seeing distant objects better than close ones (Farsighted people may have narrow drainage angles, which predispose them to acute [sudden] attacks of angle-closure glaucoma.)
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/20/2016

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