As the leading cause of irreversible blindness in the world, glaucoma poses a significant public health problem. It has been estimated that by 2020, approximately 80 million people worldwide will have glaucoma, with 11.2 million bilaterally blind as a result. A meta-analysis estimated that the global prevalence is about 3.5% in the population aged 40–80 years. Because older age is a major risk factor for glaucoma and because life expectancies are increasing in most populations, the prevalence of glaucoma is expected to increase sharply in the coming decades. (Note: The confidence intervals have been omitted around the estimated prevalence and incidence values in this chapter.)
Bourne RR, Taylor HR, Flaxman SR, et al. Number of people blind or visually impaired by glaucoma worldwide and in world regions 1990–2010: a meta-analysis. PLoS One. 2016;11(10):e0162229.
Tham YC, Li S, Wong TY, Quigley HA, Aung T, Cheng CY. Global prevalence of glaucoma and projections of glaucoma burden through 2040: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Ophthalmology. 2014;121(11):2081–2090.
Excerpted from BCSC 2020-2021 series: Section 10 - Glaucoma. For more information and to purchase the entire series, please visit https://www.aao.org/bcsc.