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Glaucoma and Diabetes

Diabetes increases your risk of developing eye diseases, including glaucoma. High blood sugar levels causing damage to the blood vessels, lens, and other tissues of the eye. Controlling blood sugar levels is necessary to preserve vision. The most common eye problems caused by diabetes are diabetic retinopathy, cataracts, and glaucoma.

Glaucoma and diabetes connected

Having diabetes doubles your risk of developing glaucoma, and people with glaucoma are more likely to develop diabetes.

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Damage to the trabecular network

High blood sugar can damage the cells of the trabecular meshwork. The trabecular meshwork allows fluid to flow out of the eye. When these cells are damaged fluid cannot flow out of the eye and pressure builds.

Diabetic retinopathy can lead to neovascular glaucoma

Nearly 50% of diabetics develop diabetic retinopathy.

High blood sugar damages the blood vessels resulting in poor circulation and lack of delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the eyes. Sometimes the body responds by growing new, abnormal blood vessels.

If these new blood vessels grow on the iris they can prevent the fluid from flowing out of the eye and raise the pressure inside the eye. This is a form of secondary glaucoma called neovascular glaucoma.

Neovascular glaucoma can sometimes be treated with laser surgery or with drainage implants.

Diabetic retinopathy has no early warning signs and can only be detected by eye exams with dilation. When caught early retinopathy can be treated to prevent further permanent damage.

Controlling blood sugar

Controlling blood sugar can help prevent the damage to your eyes, and delay vision loss. Most people who maintain stable blood sugar levels will suffer some damage to their after having diabetes for fifteen years or more.

Regular eye exams

Everyone should have regular eye exams, but they are even more important for people who have diabetes. Most eye problems associated with the disease do not begin to show symptoms until extensive damage has already occurred. Yearly eye exams with dilation can catch developing problems in time to prevent the damage and vision loss.

If you have diabetes talk to your ophthalmologist about regular eye exams and a prevention program today.

Articles about other vision disorders : Types of Glaucoma, Secondary Glaucoma, Acute Angle Glaucoma, Glaucoma Risk Factors, Lasik and Glaucoma, What Everyone Should Know About Glaucoma, Diabetic Eye Disease, Dry Eye, Amblyopia, Macular Degeneration, Computer Vision Syndrome, Cataracts, Cancer of the Eye, Keratoconus, and Epithelial and Stromal Dystrophies.

Click to View the Interactive Macular Degeneration Vision Test

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Disclaimer: The information on this website about glaucoma is for informational purposes only.
To determine your risk of developing glaucoma, please schedule an appointment with experienced eye care professional.

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