The authors reviewed the medical records of 45 Korean patients with non-arteritic anterior ischaemic optic neuropathy (NAION) and 45 healthy controls, in order to determine risk factors for the condition in an Asian population. Previous studies looking at risk factors associated with this condition have focused on a Western population. The exact pathogenesis of NAION remains unknown. Patients with this condition mainly present with blindness without pain or significantly impaired vision due to ischaemic damage to the anterior portion of the optic nerve. The authors analysed 10 risk factors including age, sex, associated systemic disease, past medical history, social history and fundus findings. They found that significant risk factors for NAION in the Korean population were diabetes mellitus, smoking, microaneurysm / haemorrhage and crowded small cup. This was a retrospective, small sample size study so caution needs to be taken with the generalisability of the results. Larger studies using histopathological results are needed in the future to determine risk factors and aid with early diagnosis.