Is Glaucoma Hereditary?

Glaucoma is a term used for a group of diseases that irreversibly damage the optic nerve, potentially causing vision loss and blindness. Commonly thought to be a sign of aging, in fact, glaucoma can strike anyone at any age. Genetic and hereditary factors are considered to play a key role in all major forms of glaucoma.

Although everyone is at risk of developing glaucoma, individuals who have a family history of the disease are more likely to be affected. In fact, those with a family history of glaucoma are 4 - 9 times more likely to develop it. Glaucoma has also been linked to genetic mutations, meaning that you may be predisposed to developing it.

Primary Open-angle Glaucoma: Primary open-angle glaucoma is the most common form of glaucoma. Though the specific genes that cause this form of glaucoma have not yet been identified, it is considered hereditary based on collected research. Risk factors involve family history linked with other factors such as environment and interaction with other genes.

Early-onset Glaucoma: The term early-onset glaucoma is used when the disorder appears before the age of 40. Medical conditions, such as hypertension, as well as family history are risk factors for glaucoma which is why it is most often seen in older individuals. When it strikes at a younger age, family history usually plays a role.

Primary Congenital Glaucoma: The term primary congenital glaucoma is used when the disorder appears before the age of five. In these cases, a child is usually born with structural abnormalities in the eye that prevent proper fluid drainage.

Glaucoma is completely asymptomatic in most cases, until the very end-stage when patients notice a problem with their peripheral (side) vision. It is important to have regular vision exams to monitor the health of your eyes, especially if you have a family history of ocular disease.

Whether you currently have glaucoma or have a family history of it, you can get help from Dr. Achiron at Atlanta Vision Cartaract and Laser Center. Call 470-317-6034 or visit for more information or to schedule an appointment.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Why You Want an Ophthalmologist on Your Diabetic Care Team

If you have diabetes, you’re at risk for diabetic retinopathy, the leading cause of vision loss in adults. The only way to protect your vision is with an ophthalmologist on your team to catch eye disease while there’s time to protect your vision.

Cataracts: How Do I Know If I’m At Risk?

Starting at the age of 40, your risk for cataracts increases with every decade. You can help prevent cataracts when you avoid the things that put you at risk for the disease. Keep reading because this blog tells you about all the top risk factors.

LASIK Surgery Can Help With a Multitude of Conditions

Are you ready to be done with eyeglasses or contacts? Then it’s time to consider LASIK, which can correct vision to normal 20/20 in more than 90% of all patients. LASIK safely and effectively treats multiple vision problems.