open access

Abstract

Primary open-angle glaucoma is a chronic optic neuropathy characterized by retinal ganglion cell loss and subsequent visual field impairment. Elevated intraocular pressure remains the only treatable and modifiable risk factor and vascular impairment has been demonstrated in glaucomatous patients. New research has uncovered varying and often contradictory data suggesting more than just a casual correlation with ethnicity, diabetes, gender, obesity and age. Little is known about each variables’ contribution to the etiology of glaucoma and how their presence or absence with other risk factors potentiate or reduce an individual’s overall risk. The realization that glaucoma is more than a simple, binary disease necessitates a next-generation mathematical model with the capability to integrate individual patient characteristics and clinical risk factors to predict its formation and progression.