Ask an Eye M.D. Answer Archive

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Question:
Why does ocular hypertension increase with menopause? More specifically, why does nerve damage due to low estrogen levels increase the risk of ocular hypertension?

Answer:
Population studies indicate that the prevalence of glaucoma increases with aging, more so among older women than men. The reason for this gender difference is not fully understood, but is theorized to be related to changes in circulating estrogen levels with aging and menopause in women. It is not necessarily the case that eye pressure increases in older women, but rather the susceptibility to optic nerve damage from the eye pressure becomes greater as women age. Your Eye M.D. can discuss your individual risk factors for glaucoma with you, including the evidence related to aging and changes in hormonal levels.

Answered by: Louis B. Cantor, MDDr. Louis B. Cantor

Categories: Glaucoma

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Answered: Dec 21, 2012

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