With April being National Minority Health Month, it’s a great time to touch on the role ethnicity can play in developing eye health issues. Knowing the increased risks that are associated with your ethnicity population can help to raise awareness and keep you an educated advocate of your own vision health.

According to Prevent Blindness America, the following ethnicities face an increased risk to these eye diseases and disorders:

African Americans – Cataracts and Glaucoma are the leading causes of blindness in this ethnic group. Unfortunately, Glaucoma affects 3 to 5 times more African Americans than Caucasians and this group is 1.5 times more likely to develop Cataracts than the general population. African Americans are also prone to Type 2 Diabetes, which can lead to Diabetic Retinopathy.

Hispanic Americans – Compared to the general population, diabetic Hispanics are more likely to develop Diabetic Retinopathy, which can lead to vision loss. The Hispanic population also has an increased risk of developing Glaucoma.

Native Americans – Native American’s are at an increased risk for diabetic eye diseases. Diabetes can lead to various eye health issues, such as Macular Edema and different forms of Diabetic Retinopathy.

Asian Americans – According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, Asian Americans are at an increased risk of angle closure glaucoma and Japanese patients are at an increased risk of low-tension glaucoma.

Of course being part of these minority groups doesn’t mean that you’ll develop eye issues, but we recommend regular eye exams with your family physician to ensure your vision stays healthy.

Sources: Prevent Blindness America, Southlands Vision, All About Vision, American Academy of Ophthalmology