The Link Between Diabetes and Glaucoma

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Glaucoma refers to a family of diseases that cause optic nerve damage. It affects approximately three million Americans, making it the second leading cause of blindness globally. 

Diabetes has been linked to a significantly higher risk of glaucoma. In this article, we’ll explore this link and the treatment options to consider.  

How is Diabetes Associated With Glaucoma?

Diabetes has been linked to glaucoma due to a condition called diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy is a potential diabetes complication that may lead to damaged blood vessels in the retina.

This condition can lead to abnormal blood vessel growth in the eye. These blood vessels can obstruct the eye’s natural drainage system. This may gradually increase the pressure in the eye and lead to glaucoma. 

Typically, diabetic retinopathy impacts patients who have had diabetes for an extended period of time. So, the risk factors for this condition are age, high blood pressure, and poor blood sugar management. Keep in mind that glaucoma doesn’t tend to have noticeable symptoms (especially early on), so make sure to keep up with your yearly eye exams. 

Preventing Glaucoma With Diabetes

If you have diabetes, protecting your eye health should be a goal of your treatment plan. Here are a few tips that can lower your risk of glaucoma with diabetes:

  • Follow all of your doctor’s recommendations for blood sugar management to keep your blood sugar levels within a healthy range
  • Quit smoking, which will increase your risk of developing diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma, among other eye problems
  • Exercise regularly
  • Use prescription medications and/or eye drops for eye pressure as advised by your doctor
  • Complete an eye exam with dilation each year

At The Eye Clinic of Florida, we offer an extensive range of treatments for glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy. Contact us today to schedule a consultation