SCEI Logo Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital Logo (CHA)

In our last blog, we talked about glaucoma symptoms and glaucoma testing to help you see if you may have glaucoma and if so, share what you can do to protect your eyesight.

If you don’t have signs of glaucoma, or wonder why you, a relative, or friend developed glaucoma symptoms, we gathered some information for you. Everything we share here is based on published research by glaucoma experts.

Glaucoma risk factors are often based on your age, family history, health, and heritage. Compared to the general population, your odds of developing glaucoma may be:

  • Six times higher if you are age 60 or older
  • Higher if you have a brother, sister, or parent who has glaucoma
  • Two times higher if you have diabetes
  • Higher based on your heritage (race and ethnicity)
  • (Glaucoma Research Foundation)

How likely am I to have glaucoma?

Glaucoma risk factors based on race and ethnicity have been discovered in long-term research studies with various groups.

Major eye-disease studies led by Rohit Varma, MD, MPH, Director of the Southern California Eye Institute, include the Los Angeles Latino Eye Study, African American Eye Disease Study, and Chinese American Eye Study. They are the largest studies ever conducted on the impact of eye disease in these groups.

Based on the studies, here is important information on you and your family should know: Latinos, compared to the general population, may be:

  • Four times more likely to have glaucoma
  • Much more likely to develop high eye pressure or open-angle glaucoma in their other eye If they have it in one eye
  • Much more likely not to know that they already have glaucoma

African Americans, compared to the general population, may be:

  • Four times more likely to have glaucoma, and six to eight times more than White people
  • More likely to develop glaucoma starting at age 50 (instead of 60)
  • Four times more likely to develop elevated eye pressure

Asian Americans, compared to the general population, may be:

  • More likely to develop angle closure glaucoma, common only in ten percent of the population
  • More likely to develop normal-tension glaucoma, a rare condition that does not have high inner eye pressure as a symptom. (Japanese Americans)

The goal of this series of weekly blogs is to help you feel informed and confident, wherever you are in learning about glaucoma.

In SCEI Glaucoma Blog #3, we talk about the most common types of glaucoma. More than 9 out of 10 people who have glaucoma have open-angle glaucoma.

Visit weekly to learn more.

Please provide feedback, suggested topics, or questions about glaucoma in the Contact Us section below. Thank you.