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Focus on: Glaucoma

Podcast—Who is at risk for developing glaucoma?

(ANNOUNCER OPEN): According to the National Eye Institute, glaucoma is three times more likely to occur in African Americans than in Caucasians.  While glaucoma can affect anyone, Dr. Lee Ball, Optometrist at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and member of the National Eye Institute’s National Eye Health Education Program Planning Committee, explains how certain segments of the population are at higher risk for developing the disease than others.

(DR. LEE BALL): Everyone over the age of 60 is at an increased risk for glaucoma, especially Mexican Americans.  Other groups at risk include African Americans over the age of 40 and people with a family history of glaucoma.

(ANNOUNCER):   A comprehensive dilated eye exam can detect glaucoma as well as other eye diseases that might not have symptoms. This exam could also reveal risk factors, such as elevated eye pressure, thinness of the cornea, and damage to the optic nerve.  In some people with certain combinations of risk factors, medicines, such as eye drops, can reduce the risk of developing glaucoma by about half.  For more information about who is at risk for glaucoma, visit  For the National Eye Institute, this has been a Focus On: Glaucoma.


Department of Health and Human Services NIH, the National Institutes of Health