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Risk Factors for Glaucoma

  • Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
Publication Type:


Risk Factors for Glaucoma

A risk factor is something that raises the chances of getting a health problem. A person can get glaucoma with or without the ones listed below. The chances of getting it are greater in people who have many.

Glaucoma is more common in older adults. Primary open angle glaucoma (POAG) is also more common in people who are Black or Hispanic. Angle closure glaucoma is more common in people who are Asian, Inuit, or Pakistani. Other things that may raise the risk are:

Family History

Having family members with glaucoma raises the risk of having it.

Eye Problems

The risk of POAG is higher in people with:

  • High eye pressure
  • A thin cornea
  • Near-sightedness
  • A prior eye injury

The risk of acute angle closure glaucoma is higher in people with:

  • Far-sightedness
  • Narrow drainage angles in the eyes

Other Health Problems

These other health problems may raise the risk of POAG:


  • Angle-closure glaucoma. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/angle-closure-glaucoma.
  • Gedde SJ, Lind JT, Wright MM, et al; American Academy of Ophthalmology. Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma Suspect Preferred Practice Pattern Guidelines. Ophthalmology. 2021;128(1):P150-P192.
  • Glaucoma. National Eye Institute website. Available at: https://www.nei.nih.gov/learn-about-eye-health/eye-conditions-and-diseases/glaucoma.
  • Primary open-angle glaucoma. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/primary-open-angle-glaucoma.
  • What is glaucoma? American Academy of Ophthalmology website. Available at: http://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/what-is-glaucoma.
  • What is glaucoma? Glaucoma Research Foundation website. Available at: https://glaucoma.org/learn-about-glaucoma/what-is-glaucoma.


  • Daniel A. Ostrovsky, MD
Last Updated:

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.