Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Eye Health Center

Font Size

Glaucoma - What Increases Your Risk

Open-angle glaucoma (OAG)

Risk factors for OAG include:

  • High pressure in the eyes. OAG is often linked with higher-than-normal pressure in the eyes (intraocular pressure, or IOP). Not all people with OAG have high IOP. But this is one treatable risk factor that doctors look for.
  • Age. The risk for glaucoma increases rapidly after age 40.
  • Race. Blacks are more likely than whites to have glaucoma.
  • Family history of glaucoma. You're at risk for OAG if a relative has primary OAG, which is OAG that's not caused by another condition.
  • Prior loss of vision in one eye from glaucoma. Damage in one eye from glaucoma is linked with a higher risk of future damage in the other eye.
  • Diabetes. People who have diabetes tend to have higher pressure in their eyes than those who don't have the disease. People who have diabetes are also at risk for a type of secondary glaucoma where new blood vessels grow into and block the drainage angle of the eye.

Closed-angle glaucoma (CAG)

Risk factors for CAG camera.gif include:

  • Race. People from East Asia or with East Asian ancestry, as well as Inuit peoples, are more likely than other people to develop CAG.1
  • Age. People over age 40 are at increased risk for CAG.
  • Being female. Older women are more likely than older men to develop CAG.
  • Farsightedness. People who are farsighted camera.gif are more likely to develop this condition. That's because their eyes are smaller and the drainage angles of the eyes tend to be narrower, which allows them to become blocked more easily.
  • Family history. People who have a family history of CAG are more likely to develop the condition.
  • Having CAG in one eye. This increases the risk of getting the condition in the other eye. About half of the people who have had acute closed-angle glaucoma in one eye develop CAG in the second eye within 5 years.1

Congenital glaucoma

Risk factors for congenital glaucoma include:

  • Infection in the mother during pregnancy. Babies born to mothers who have certain viral infections such as rubella during pregnancy are more likely to have the condition.
  • Family history. A small number of infants with congenital glaucoma inherit the condition.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: September 09, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
Next Article:

Today on WebMD

Woman holding tissue to reddened eye
Learn about causes, symptoms, and treatments.
Simple annoyance or the sign of a problem?
red eyes
Symptoms, triggers, and treatments.
blue eye with contact lens
Tips for wearing and caring.
Understanding Stye
human eye
eye exam timing
vision test
is vision correction surgery for you
high tech contacts
eye drop