Glaucoma is an ocular disorder characterized by the progressive loss of retinal ganglion cells (RGC) and their axons. There are various hypotheses concerning the cause of RGC death. Previously, glaucoma was defined by high intraocular pressure (IOP); during the past decade, however, glaucoma specialists have acknowledged that elevated IOP is the most important risk factor for glaucoma, but does not define the disease. Other factors such as genetics, blood flow, and excitotoxicity are suggested as potential causal factors for progressive RGC death observed in glaucoma. We review recent studies elucidating a possible role of low-grade inflammation as a causal factor in the pathogenesis of glaucoma. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.