Effects of Sex Hormones on Ocular Blood Flow and Intraocular Pressure in Primary Open Angle Glaucoma: A Review

Pooja Patel, Alon Harris, Carol Toris, Leslie Tobe, Matthew Lang, Aditya Belamkar, Adrienne Ng, Alice C.Verticchio Vercellin, Sunu Mathew, Brent Siesky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) is a multifactorial optic neuropathy characterized by progressive retinal ganglion cell death and visual field loss. Some speculate that gender plays a role in the risk of developing POAG and that the physiologic differences between men and women may be attributed to the variable effects of sex hormones on intraocular pressure (IOP), ocular blood flow, and/or neuroprotection. Estrogen, in the form of premenopausal status, pregnancy, and post-menopausal hormone therapy is associated with increase in ocular blood flow, decrease in IOP and neuroprotective properties. The vasodilation caused by estrogen and its effects on aqueous humor outflow may contribute. On the other hand, although testosterone may have known effects in the cardiovascular and cerebrovascular systems, there is no consensus as to its effects in ocular health or POAG. With better understanding of sex hormones in POAG, sex hormone-derived preventative and therapeutic considerations in disease management may provide for improved gender-specific patient care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1037-1041
JournalJournal of Glaucoma
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • estrogen
  • glaucoma
  • intraocular pressure
  • neuroprotection
  • ocular blood flow
  • testosterone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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