Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness among African Americans. And the disease is six times more common among blacks compared to whites. And blindness resulting from glaucoma is 16 times as likely among blacks than is the case for whites.
A new study by researchers at Washington University sheds some light on the racial disparity. The research, published in the journal Archives of Ophthalmology, found that oxygen levels in the eyes of black glaucoma patients are significantly higher than is the case for whites with the disease. The authors of the study believe that more oxygen in the eye may damage the drainage system resulting in higher pressure which can damage the optic nerve.