- Etymology: The word "glaucoma" comes from the Greek γλαύκωμα, a derivative of γλαυκóς, which commonly described the color of eyes which were not dark (i.e. blue, green, light gray). Eyes described as γλαυκóς due to disease might have had a gray cataract in the Hippocratic era, or, in the early Common Era, the greenish pupillary hue sometimes seen in angle-closure glaucoma.
- Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the world, according to the World Health Organization.
- Estimates put the total number of suspected cases of glaucoma at over 60 million worldwide.
- It is estimated that over 3 million Americans have glaucoma but only half of those know they have it.
- In the U.S., more than 120,000 are blind from glaucoma, accounting for 9% to 12% of all cases of blindness.
- Blindness from glaucoma is 6 to 8 times more common in African Americans than Caucasians.
- Glaucoma accounts for over 10 million visits to physicians each year.
- Because of the aging of the world population, one estimate shows that the number of persons with glaucoma will increase to79.6 million in 2020
- Our analysis estimates that there will be a substantial increase in the number of persons with POAG in the United States, from 2.71 million in 2011 to 7.32 million in 2050.
- Overall, the results demonstrate that glaucoma is responsible for approximately 5.2 million blind (15% of the total burden of world blindness).
A 40-Year Forecast for POAGIn 2011, 2.71 million people in the United States had POAG, with the highest estimated number among populations aged 70 to 79 years (31%), women (53%), and non-Hispanic whites (44%). The largest demographic group is non-Hispanic white women.
In 2050, an estimated 7.32 million people in the United States will have POAG, with the highest number among populations aged 70 to 79 years (32%), women (50%), and Hispanics (50%). The largest demographic group is Hispanic men.
Despite the high prevalence of POAG in African Americans and Hispanics, the largest group in the United States with POAG is among older non-Hispanic white women (2011), but is expected to shift to Hispanic men over the next few decades.
- The Eye Disease Prevalence Research Group developed estimates of glaucoma prevalence from data that included multiple US-based and international studies. The group estimated that open-angle glaucoma prevalence increased from 0.7% at age 40 to 7.7% for those over age 80.3 Self-reported epidemiologic data from the National Health Interview Survey found glaucoma prevalence increasing from 0.2% at age 18 to over 10.7% for those over 75.3 The growth in the oldest-old is important, as the prevalence of glaucoma triples in those over 75 compared to those aged 65. https://www.reviewofoptometry.com/article/the-changing-and-challenging-epidemiology-of-glaucoma