Can Having Diabetes Increase my Risk for Glaucoma?

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Glaucoma encompasses multiple conditions that cause vision loss by attacking an indispensable ocular structure, the optic nerve. The optic nerve transmits visual information to the brain, and clear vision is impossible if this structure becomes damaged. Diabetes raises the risk of glaucoma, leading to increased intraocular (within the eye) pressure that causes deterioration of the optic nerve and other essential parts of the eye.

At Family Vision Care of Cool Springs, our expert team and Dr. Daxx Dunn are dedicated to helping you achieve an optimal outcome. Simply contact us today for compassionate, detail-attentive care in Franklin, TN.

Can having diabetes increase my risk of glaucoma?

Although recent research questions the exact increase in risk, it is generally accepted that having diabetes significantly raises the risk of glaucoma. Additionally, a rare form of this sight-stealing condition, called neovascular glaucoma, is caused by diabetes.

Diabetes is a body-wide condition that leads to elevated glucose levels in the blood, and as these blood sugars course throughout the body, they cause physical damage to numerous tissues, including the blood vessels in the eye, which are then replaced by new blood vessels. Yet the newcomers are faulty, dysfunctional, or spring up in abnormal locations. As a result, fluid drainage within the eye is adversely affected, resulting in increased intraocular pressure that damages diverse ocular structures and leads to vision loss. As such, diabetes and glaucoma are both serious conditions that can, if untreated, cause blindness.

Why is glaucoma such a serious concern?

Glaucoma is the second-leading cause of blindness globally and is dangerous because it’s not evident in its earlier stages. It yields no apparent symptoms during these stages and is therefore often nicknamed “the silent thief of sight” owing to its imperceptibility.

So the best way to protect your sight and maintain your ocular health is to seek routine eye exams every other year, at least. Especially for individuals 40 years of age or older because the prevalence of glaucoma increases with age, but you can be proactive about achieving your optimal outcome by seeing us for a comprehensive eye exam. We can detect and diagnose your specific condition, then devise a treatment strategy based on your unique needs.

For example, narrow-or-closed-angle glaucoma occurs when the space between the iris and cornea shrinks or becomes narrowed. Open-angle glaucoma arises when there’s some problem with the trabecular meshwork, the eye’s drainage system.

Even though there may be no symptoms during its early development, when glaucoma reaches a certain state, patients may experience blurriness, reduced vision (beginning with peripheral vision), tension headaches, and eye redness. It’s also important to note that if any of these symptoms occur suddenly, possibly accompanied by nausea or vomiting, you should seek emergency care immediately.

No matter the cause of your glaucoma, we’re eager to help maintain as much of your eye health and vision as possible through various treatment options, including nonsurgical strategies such as eye drops and medications.

Manage your glaucoma and protect your eye health

Glaucoma advances without causing any apparent symptoms, and by the time patients notice glaucoma-induced vision loss, irreversible damage may have occurred. Numerous factors influence the severity and prevalence of glaucoma, but you can protect your sight and eye health by scheduling a consultation with Dr. Daxx Dunn at Family Vision Care of Cool Springs. Don’t wait while glaucoma robs of your vision; seek timely intervention and enjoy an improved outcome by contacting us in Franklin, TN!

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.