Diabetes is a condition that affects the body’s ability to process blood sugar. It can also increase a person’s risk of developing certain eye conditions, including glaucoma.
Insulin is a hormone that helps sugar from food enter the body’s cells so they can use it for energy. If a person has diabetes, their body either
Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that
In this article, we will discuss the link between glaucoma and diabetes. We also discuss risk factors for glaucoma, potential symptoms, and treatment options.
Damaged blood vessels can then swell and leak. This can cause a person’s vision to become blurry and reduce retinal blood flow. Diabetic retinopathy is the
When this occurs, it causes pressure within the eye to increase, which can damage the optic nerve. This damage to the optic nerve is known as glaucoma. Research notes that diabetes is associated with an
The longer a person has diabetes, the
- having high blood sugar
- having high blood pressure
- having high cholesterol
There are a number of things that can increase a person’s risk of developing glaucoma. These
- having diabetes
- being over 60 years old
- having a family history of glaucoma
- having myopia (nearsightedness)
- having obstructive sleep apnea
Over time, glaucoma can cause a person to slowly lose their vision. This often starts with their peripheral vision, particularly the vision that is closest to the nose.
Because glaucoma progresses slowly, many people cannot tell that their vision is changing. As glaucoma becomes worse, a person may notice that they cannot see things off to the side anymore. Without treatment, glaucoma can eventually cause blindness.
Typically, the first step for treating diabetes-related glaucoma involves managing blood sugar levels. If high pressure persists in the eye, there are a number of possible treatments for glaucoma. These
- Eye drops: A person can use prescription eye drops. These drops can lower the pressure in the eye and help prevent damage to the optic nerve. This is the most common treatment for glaucoma.
- Laser treatment: A surgeon can use lasers to stop the progression of diabetic retinopathy. Additionally, laser treatments can help drain the fluid out of the eye. This is a simple procedure that can take place in the doctor’s office.
- Surgery: A doctor may suggest surgery for glaucoma if standard medications and laser treatment do not work. There are a number of types of surgery for glaucoma that can help drain fluid out of the eye to reduce pressure.
If a person has diabetes, they may be at a
There are a number of steps a person can take to help reduce their risk of developing glaucoma,
- Attending eye exams: Having regular dilated eye exams can help a person diagnose glaucoma early, allowing them to begin treatment. This is important, as prescription eye drops can help stop glaucoma from progressing.
- Discussing glaucoma with family members: Glaucoma can be a hereditary condition and often does not display symptoms early on. This means it is important to talk with family members about the family’s eye health history.
- Maintaining a moderate weight: Maintaining a moderate weight can play a role in reducing a person’s risk of developing glaucoma. This can also help a person with diabetes better manage their symptoms.
- Controlling blood pressure: A person should monitor and manage their blood pressure to help reduce their risk of glaucoma. This will also help a person with diabetes manage their symptoms.
- Being physically active: By being physically active, a person can help reduce their risk of glaucoma and manage their diabetes symptoms.
- Avoiding smoking: Smoking can increase a person’s risk of diabetic retinopathy. A person should avoid smoking to reduce their risk of developing the condition.
Even if a person is not in a high risk group, they should still consider getting a comprehensive dilated eye exam
A dilated eye exam is a simple and painless procedure. During the exam, a doctor will administer some eye drops. These drops dilate, or widen, the pupil. The doctor can then check the eyes for glaucoma and other eye problems. The exam will also include a visual field test to check the person’s peripheral vision.
If someone notices their peripheral vision becoming blurry, they should speak with their doctor and arrange a dilated eye exam.
Diabetes is a condition that affects a person’s ability to process blood sugar. Glaucoma is the name for a group of eye diseases that cause damage to the optic nerve. Glaucoma can lead to vision loss and blindness. Evidence suggests that having diabetes can increase the risk of developing glaucoma.
High blood sugar levels can damage the blood vessels in the retina, causing diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy can then cause abnormal blood vessels to grow in the retina, which can block fluid from draining out of the eye. This can increase the pressure within the eye, which may damage the optic nerve. This damage may lead to the development of glaucoma, which can lead to vision loss.