Glaucoma is the principal cause of irreversible blindness in the world, the second leading cause of blindness in the United States, and it results in optic nerve head axonal degeneration and corresponding visual field deficits. Intraocular pressure (IOP) is the only known modifiable risk factor in glaucoma. Non-modifiable risk factors for glaucoma include age, ethnicity, central corneal thickness, and family history. While our understanding of the role of gender as a risk factor in glaucoma development and progression remains nascent, multiple observations have shown gender differences in the incidence and prevalence of glaucoma. Depending on the type of glaucoma, hormone therapy, oral contraceptive use and menopausal status have also been associated with glaucoma. In addition, pregnancy leads to changes in IOP, while the treatment of glaucoma must be tailored based on the systemic effects of topical therapeutics on the mother and fetus. This review will focus on the epidemiologic, anatomic and endocrinologic differences in male and female glaucoma patients. In addition, this review will discuss treatment modalities that may be more appropriate for one gender than the other, especially with respect to a woman's pregnancy status.
- Hormone therapy
- Intraocular pressure
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sensory Systems
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience