Glaucoma is associated with increased age
Although glaucoma may develop at any age, it mainly affects persons over 40 years of age. Two percent of the Belgian population has glaucoma at age 40, which is why it is important to have your eyes checked once you have reached this age. Moreover, the risk increases with age. Four percent of Belgians have the disease at age 80. For that reason it is recommended to have your eyes examined every two years after age 40, and every year after age 65.
Glaucoma can be inherited
If you have family members with glaucoma, this puts you at a much higher risk than the rest of the population. Moreover you may get the disease earlier in life. You are strongly advised to see an eye doctor as soon as you are aware that glaucoma runs in your family. This not only holds true when immediate family members such as your brother, sister or parents are affected. If more distant family members have glaucoma this is important too.
Additional risk factors
Some additional risk factors have been identified, the most important ones being severe nearsightedness and African descent.