Glaucoma And Diabetes
Tweet Glaucoma may occur amongst people with and without diabetes, and can be a complication of diabetes if retinopathy develops. Glaucoma is caused by an excess amount of fluid pressing on the nerve at the back of the eye. How does glaucoma start? The eye produces a small amount of fluid like water in its middle chamber, which flows around the lens of the eye into the front chamber. The fluid leaves the eye using a drainage network and then enters the bloodstream. Commonly, glaucoma causes the drainage system to become blocked, and fluid becomes trapped in the eye. This causes pressure to build up in the eye and pass to the nerve at the rear of the eye. This nerve may become damaged by glaucoma. Is glaucoma linked with diabetes? People with diabetic retinopathy have an increased risk of glaucoma. This can happen if abnormal blood vessel growth, which can occur as a result of retinopathy, blocks the natural drainage of the eye. What are the symptoms of glaucoma? Glaucoma has very few symptoms in its early stage, so people may be unaware that something is wrong with them. As someone with diabetes, an optometrist or another eye specialist should test you for glaucoma at least once each year. How is glaucoma diagnosed? Glaucoma may be diagnosed by an optometrist by measuring your eye pressure, checking the eye at the optic nerve, and testing the field of your vision. A common test these days is a noncontact tonometry test (NCT test) in which a brief puff of air will be directed into the front of your eye. The machine you sit in front of measures the resistance of your eye to the puff of air without needing to make contact with your eye. The puff of air is noticeable but is not painful. Experts will quickly be able to determine if you have glaucoma. How is glaucoma treated? Continue reading >>
Diabetes And Cataracts
If you have diabetes mellitus, there are many important reasons to follow your doctor's orders about diet and blood sugar control. One of those reasons: avoiding cataracts. People with diabetes are more likely to develop vision-stealing cataracts compared to non-diabetics. Cataract is a condition where the eye's naturally clear lens becomes cloudy, or opaque. Light doesn't pass through the lens as it should and isn't properly reflected onto the retina (the light-sensitive tissue lining the back of the eye). As a result, vision becomes cloudy, distorted or blurry. Usually, cataracts are associated with age-related changes in the eye, though other factors, such as medication, surgery, sun exposure and disease also play a role in cataract development. In addition to speeding up cataract development in adults, diabetes leads to early cataract formation in younger people as well. So how does diabetes lead to cataract? It's all about the sugar—or glucose. The eye's lens gets its nutrients from aqueous humor, fluid filling the front portion of the eye. Aqueous humor provides oxygen and glucose, a simple sugar energy source for the body's cells. When you don't have good control over your glucose levels (as with unchecked diabetes), sugar levels rise in the aqueous humor and in the lens. High levels of glucose in the lens cause it to swell, affecting clarity of vision. The lens also has an enzyme that converts glucose to a substance called sorbitol. When sorbitol collects in the lens, it can affect cells and naturally-occurring proteins, causing the lens to become less clear and more opaque. This condition eventually leads to cataract formation, making the world around you appear blurry, yellowish or faded, and increasing glare. What can you do to prevent cataracts? If you hav Continue reading >>
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Metformin May Lower Risk Of Glaucoma In People With Diabetes
Q: I just read that the drug metformin might help prevent glaucoma. I have pre-diabetes and am working on lowering my blood sugar. My last eye exam indicated my eye pressures were in the high normal range. Should I start metformin now? A: Metformin is the best medicine to use first for people with type 2 diabetes. And some experts suggest people with pre-diabetes should consider taking it, in addition to diet and exercise. You have a higher than average risk of developing open-angle glaucoma, so your question is very timely. A study published last week in the journal JAMA Ophthalmology suggested metformin might decrease the risk of glaucoma in people with diabetes. Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that can lead to irreversible vision loss through damage to the optic nerve, a collection of specialized nerve fibers that connect the back of the eye (the retina) to the brain. Glaucoma is caused by a problem with the circulation of fluid in the eye. Normally, a clear liquid called aqueous humor circulates continuously inside the front part of the eye. To keep a healthy pressure within the eye, an equal amount of this fluid flows out of the eye. In open-angle glaucoma, this drainage system becomes less efficient. The outflow of fluid slows. The fluid then backs up in the eye, like water in a clogged sink. Internal pressure in the eye rises. This, in turn, puts stress on the optic nerve. If the pressure continues, nerve fibers that carry the vision messages to the brain begin to die. Vision starts to fade. If left untreated, glaucoma can lead to blindness. Results of this study showed a 25 percent lower risk of open-angle glaucoma in people who took the highest amount of metformin compared with those who didn't take the drug. The higher the dose of metformin, the lower the Continue reading >>
Eye Problems And Diabetes
Eye problems and diabetes introduction If you have diabetes, regular visits to your ophthalmologist for eye exams are important to avoid eye problems. High blood sugar (glucose) increases the risk of diabetes eye problems. In fact, diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in adults age 20 to 74. If you have eye problems and diabetes, don't buy a new pair of glasses as soon as you notice you have blurred vision. It could just be a temporary eye problem that develops rapidly with diabetes and is caused by high blood sugar levels. High blood sugar in diabetes causes the lens of the eye to swell, which changes your ability to see. To correct this kind of eye problem, you need to get your blood sugar back into the target range (90-130 milligrams per deciliter or mg/dL before meals, and less than 180 mg/dL one to two hours after a meal). It may take as long as three months after your blood sugar is well controlled for your vision to fully get back to normal. Blurred vision can also be a symptom of more serious eye problem with diabetes. The three major eye problems that people with diabetes may develop and should be aware of are cataracts, glaucoma, and retinopathy. A cataract is a clouding or fogging of the normally clear lens of the eye. The lens is what allows us to see and focus on an image just like a camera. Although anyone can get cataracts, people with diabetes get these eye problems at an earlier age than most and the condition progresses more rapidly than in people without diabetes. If you have a cataract, there is a cloudy area in the lens of your eye that results in the inability to focus light, and your vision is impaired. Symptoms of this eye problem in diabetes include blurred or glared vision. During cataract surgery, the cloudy lens is removed or cleaned ou Continue reading >>
Glaucoma And Diabetes: Can Diabetes Affect Your Eyes?
People with diabetes are twice as likely to be at risk of having glaucoma compared to people without diabetes. We will first look at how the eye works, what glaucoma is, followed by the relationship between glaucoma and diabetes. Clara’s story Clara’s eyes were feeling tired all of the time. She was attributing the tiredness to her Type 2 diabetes, but she wasn’t too sure about it. That’s why she contacted TheDiabetesCouncil to raise her concerns about the increasing pressure in her eyes. Her left eye had suddenly become red, and she was experiencing sharp pain in her eyes. She had somewhat of a headache, too. After hearing about Clara’s symptoms, she was advised to see her eye doctor for an examination, as glaucoma was suspected. Clara got in touch with us to report that she had been to her ophthalmologist, and she had been diagnosed with the most common type of glaucoma, open-angle glaucoma. She was using some drops in both eyes, and she relayed that she was feeling better, and that the pain in her eye and other symptoms have subsided. To help others in Clara’s situation, we have written this comprehensive guide about glaucoma and diabetes. How does the eye work? If you want to understand eye diseases, specifically glaucoma, it’s important to understand how the eye operates. It’s an incredible, wonderful organ! Without our eyes, we could not see the world around us. The eye is a spherically shaped organ that has a tough outer surface. The covering in the front of the eye is curvy. This covering is called the cornea. The cornea is responsible for focusing light. It also serves to protect the eye. Light makes its way through the eye by way of the anterior chamber. In this chamber, there is fluid called aqueous humor that the light travels through. Light Continue reading >>
Regular eye exams are the key to limiting the vision loss caused by glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy. Learn about glaucoma. Learn about diabetic retinopathy. GLAUCOMA The second leading cause of blindness in the U.S. More than three million Americans have glaucoma, but only half are actually aware that this “silent thief” is slowly and without warning stealing away their vision, sometimes without symptoms. What is glaucoma? The eye has about one million tiny nerve fibers that carry visual information from the back of the eye to the brain. Glaucoma destroys these nerve fibers. It was once thought that this destruction was due to high pressure within the eye, but we now know that even patients with normal pressure can have glaucoma and experience loss of this important nerve function. Are there different types of glaucoma? The two most frequently occurring types are primary open-angle glaucoma and angle-closure glaucoma. With primary open-angle glaucoma, the most common form, the eye’s drainage canals are open but they have become less efficient in draining fluid. Fluid build-up causes pressure within the eye to increase and eventually damage the optic nerve. In some patients, the optic nerve is at risk of damage because it has become sensitive to even normal pressure. Primary open-angle glaucoma generally does not cause symptoms and leads to gradual vision loss. In angle-closure glaucoma, the iris (the part of the eye that creates eye color) blocks the entrance to the drainage canal, sometimes causing the pressure within the eye to build up suddenly. Symptoms of an acute angle-closure glaucoma attack include severe eye pain, red eye, blurred vision, headache, nausea, and vomiting. This is a true emergency that can lead to blindness if not treated promptly. More co Continue reading >>
Glaucoma, What Relationship Does It Have With Diabetes?
Glaucoma is one of the most common eye-related complications in people with diabetes. Learn to prevent it. No fewer than 4.5 million people around the world suffer from it, and it's estimated that by 2020 that number will rise to 11 million people. Even though it’s the second most common cause of blindness, there are still many people who have no idea of what it is. This is especially unfortunate because 90% of these cases of blindness could be avoided by an early diagnosis. Do you think you know everything about glaucoma? What is Glaucoma? It’s a progressive optical nervous disease, and unfortunately, it’s irreversible. Although many factors are involved in its development, pressure on the eye seems to be one of the main ones. And diabetes plays a key role: people with diabetes sometimes suffer from chronic glaucoma, a type of glaucoma that is no different from the type people without diabetes develop. Its treatment isn’t any different either, although we do have to be very careful about some adverse effects of the medication. Why does ocular hypertension occur? There is a clear watery fluid called “aqueous humor” which is present at the front of the eyes. In order to keep pressure steady on a healthy eye, a small amount of this aqueous humor is continuously produced. It flows through a tiny drain called the trabecular meshwork, a network of cells and tissues located in an area called the drainage angle. When this fluid can’t be reabsorbed (when there is an imbalance between production and reabsorption), pressure on the eye increases. What different types of glaucoma are there? There are many types, and each has a different origin and progression. Most cases are either chronic simple glaucoma or open angle Glaucoma. - Open angle glaucoma. When this type o Continue reading >>
Diabetes is a disease that affects blood vessels throughout the body, particularly vessels in the kidneys and eyes. When the blood vessels in the eyes are affected, this is called diabetic retinopathy. The retina is in the back of the eye. It detects visual images and transmits them to the brain. Major blood vessels lie on the front portion of the retina. When these blood vessels are damaged due to diabetes, they may leak fluid or blood and grow scar tissue. This leakage affects the ability of the retina to detect and transmit images. During the early stages of diabetic retinopathy, reading vision is typically not affected. However, when retinopathy becomes advanced, new blood vessels grow in the retina. These new vessels are the body’s attempt to overcome and replace the vessels that have been damaged by diabetes. However, these new vessels are not normal. They may bleed and cause the vision to become hazy, occasionally resulting in a complete loss of vision. The growth of abnormal blood vessels on the iris of the eye can lead to glaucoma. Diabetic retinopathy can also cause your body to form cataracts. The new vessels also may damage the retina by forming scar tissue and pulling the retina away from its proper location. This is called retinal detachment and can lead to blindness if left untreated. Symptoms of diabetic retinopathy: There are usually no symptoms in the early stages of diabetic retinopathy Floaters Difficulty reading or doing close work Double vision If left untreated, severe vision loss can occur Causes of diabetic retinopathy: Diabetes: Everyone who has diabetes is at risk for developing diabetic retinopathy, but not everyone develops it. Changes in blood sugar levels increase the risk. Generally, diabetics don’t develop diabetic retinopathy until Continue reading >>
What Causes Glaucoma?
The cause of glaucoma generally is a failure of the eye to maintain an appropriate balance between the amount of internal (intraocular) fluid produced and the amount that drains away. Underlying reasons for this imbalance usually relate to the type of glaucoma you have. Just as a basketball or football requires air pressure to maintain its shape, the eyeball needs internal fluid pressure to retain its globe-like shape and ability to see. But when something affects the ability of internal eye structures to regulate intraocular pressure (IOP), eye pressure can rise to dangerously high levels — causing glaucoma. Unlike a ball or balloon, the eye can't relieve pressure by springing a leak and "deflating" when pressure is too high. Instead, high eye pressure just keeps building and pushing against the optic nerve until nerve fibers are permanently damaged and vision is lost. The aqueous humor is produced behind the iris, flows into the anterior chamber through the pupil, and exits the eye via the drainage angle between the iris and cornea. Too much aqueous production or obstruction of its outflow from the eye causes a rise in intraocular pressure (IOP) that can lead to glaucoma. In most types of glaucoma, elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) is associated with damage to the optic nerve in the back of the eye. Glaucoma and Eye Anatomy When glaucoma progresses, injury to neurons ultimately leads to eye damage in the form of peripheral vision loss. However, eye damage appears to begin first in the brain as connectivity is lost. This discovery reported in early 2010 is a major breakthrough that could lead to improved early diagnosis and treatments of the eye disease, according to Vanderbilt Eye Institute (VEI) researchers in Nashville. "If you followed the disease long enough, Continue reading >>
Want To Know Unique Steps To Truly Treat Glaucoma Naturally?
Audience This article is for glaucoma diabetes patients who want to find solutions to improve both diseases. Both conditions have the same root causes. Best start: discover your true root causes for both diseases with our proprietary analysis. You'll get a free, personal, custom plan to improve glaucoma and diabetes naturally in your circumstances, click here If you just want generic information about glaucoma and diabetes in general, read this article. Glaucoma and diabetes are joined at the hip. Very few diseases have a closer relationship than these two. But why is that? And why is it that glaucoma and diabetes increased dramatically over the past 30 years? What happened in society to make this happen? The insulin problem of diabetes gives it away. Insulin is a hormone. So both diseases come down to hormonal imbalances. Yet, there is more to it than meets the eye. The thing is that eye drops, medication, and glaucoma surgery can't fix the problem. These can relieve some eye pressure, but won't remove the root causes. So you must understand hormonal health to beat both, glaucoma and diabetes. Can Diabetes Cause Glaucoma? Yes. Glaucoma is eye disease that affects people with diabetes. Research directly links a type of glaucoma to diabetes. That's neovascular glaucoma. It's rare. But there is a direct correlation. Glaucoma has a lot to do with hormones. Hormonal imbalances are the cause of glaucoma. Diabetes is ultimately a problem of hormones. Research also indicates a link between open-angle glaucoma and both types of diabetes. That's a very common type of glaucoma. So that doesn't mean you have diabetes when you have open-angle glaucoma. But if you have diabetes, you have to monitor your eyesight regularly. So when you get diabetes, it's time to prevent glaucoma. It' Continue reading >>
Smoking Can Lead To Vision Loss Or Blindness
"Smoking Can Lead to Vision Loss or Blindness" is also available as a printable PDF (PDF, 128KB, 2pg.). Eye Disease and Smoking: Smoking has long been known to cause heart disease and lung cancer; however many people don't realize that smoking can lead to vision loss. Studies show smoking increases the risk of age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy and Dry Eye Syndrome. Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) One way to reduce the risk of developing AMD is by NOT smoking. Smokers are three to four times more likely to develop AMD than nonsmokers. Nonsmokers living with smokers almost double their risk of developing AMD. Cataract Heavy smokers (15 cigarettes/day or more) have up to three times the risk of cataract as nonsmokers. Glaucoma There is a strong link between smoking and high blood pressure, cataracts and diabetes all of which are risk factors for glaucoma. Diabetic Retinopathy Smoking can increase your chances of getting diabetes. It can also make managing diabetes more difficult for those who already have it. Complications of diabetes made worse by smoking include retinopathy, heart disease, stroke, vascular disease, kidney disease, nerve damage, foot problems and many others. Dry Eye Syndrome Dry Eye Syndrome is more than twice as likely to impact smokers as non-smokers. What You Can Do to Prevent Vision Loss: Healthy habits can lead to healthy eyes. The risk of eye disease and vision loss can be lowered if you:: Quit smoking! Eat healthy foods (including green leafy vegetables, fruits and foods high in vitamins C, E, and beta carotene). Control blood pressure and cholesterol. Stay active. Visit your eye care professional regularly. Are You Ready to Quit? To get started, visit the How to Quit page on the NYS Smokers' Qui Continue reading >>
A disease of the eye that can lead to vision loss due to damage to the retina and optic nerve. The risk of developing glaucoma increases with age. People with diabetes are twice as likely to develop glaucoma as others. The eye is neither hollow nor solid. Rather, it is composed of two segments filled with fluids called the aqueous and vitreous humors. The aqueous humor is constantly being replenished as the excess is drained away. If the drainage is too slow or if it is blocked, pressure will gradually build up in the eye. Ophthalmologists and optometrists can measure this pressure, called intraocular pressure, with a procedure called tonometry. In glaucoma, the pressure is elevated. The increased pressure constricts the blood vessels of the eye, which can damage the retina or optic nerve and result in blind spots or loss of peripheral vision. With early diagnosis and treatment, vision can almost always be spared, but the damage caused by glaucoma is not reversible. -- Keep an eye on your vision! Learn about preventive steps and treatments for diabetic retinopathy from retinal specialist Dr. Charles Wykoff. >> There are several types of glaucoma, including open-angle, closed-angle, and neovascular. Open-angle glaucoma, the most common, is a gradual process in which damage may not be evident until later stages. It generally has no noticeable symptoms in the early stages. Closed-angle glaucoma tends to affect only one eye and may be characterized by a sudden increase in pressure in the eye, causing pain, nausea, and visual effects such as halos around lights. Neovascular glaucoma can but does not always cause sudden, severe loss of vision. It may accompany or be related to diabetic retinopathy. Treatment depends on the type of glaucoma and the severity of the problem and Continue reading >>
Glaucoma is an eye disease that can damage your optic nerve. The optic nerve supplies visual information to your brain from your eyes. Glaucoma is usually, but not always, the result of abnormally high pressure inside your eye. Over time, the increased pressure can erode your optic nerve tissue, which may lead to vision loss or even blindness. If it’s caught early, you may be able to prevent additional vision loss. The most common type of glaucoma is primary open-angle glaucoma. It has no signs or symptoms except gradual vision loss. For that reason, it’s important that you go to yearly comprehensive eye exams so your ophthalmologist, or eye specialist, can monitor any changes in your vision. Acute-angle closure glaucoma, which is also known as narrow-angle glaucoma, is a medical emergency. See your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms: severe eye pain nausea vomiting redness in your eye sudden vision disturbances seeing colored rings around lights sudden blurred vision The back of your eye continuously makes a clear fluid called aqueous humor. As this fluid is made, it fills the front part of your eye. Then, it leaves your eye through channels in your cornea and iris. If these channels are blocked or partially obstructed, the natural pressure in your eye, which is called the intraocular pressure (IOP), may increase. As your IOP increases, your optic nerve may become damaged. As damage to your nerve progresses, you may begin losing sight in your eye. What causes the pressure in your eye to increase isn’t always known. However, doctors believe one or more of these factors may play a role: dilating eye drops blocked or restricted drainage in your eye medications, such as corticosteroids poor or reduced blood flow to your optic nerve hig Continue reading >>
Does Diabetes Cause Glaucoma?
Diabetes affects more than 29 million Americans today. The most common type of diabetes is type II diabetes, or adult-onset diabetes, which typically affects adults who are over 40, overweight and have an inactive lifestyle. These three precursors can increase the risk of developing other diseases such as hypertension, high cholesterol, and heart disease. A significant percentage of diabetics also develop glaucoma, a seemingly unrelated disease. There is no doubt that a connection exists between diabetes and glaucoma, but does diabetes cause glaucoma? This is a difficult question to which doctors and researchers are still seeking answers. While we may not be able to prove that diabetes causes glaucoma, there are some interesting statistics that link these diseases: Diabetics are twice as likely to develop glaucoma as non-diabetics Someone with open-angle glaucoma (the most common type of glaucoma) is more likely to develop diabetes than someone who does not have open-angle glaucoma In some diabetics, new blood vessels grow on the iris and block the flow of eye fluid which raises inner eye pressure. This is known as neovascular glaucoma. These statistics certainly support the assertion that diabetes and glaucoma are strongly connected. Other eye diseases have a similar link to diabetes, such as cataracts and diabetic retinopathy. These conditions, along with glaucoma, are collectively referred to as diabetic eye disease. This is a general term for a group of vision problems that diabetics may develop (Source: Glaucoma Research Foundation). It may be too early to conclude that diabetes causes glaucoma, but it is clear that these diseases are not independent of one another. Therefore, preventing one of these diseases may be a key factor in preventing the development of sev Continue reading >>
Diabetes And Eye Problems (cont.)
Glaucoma and Diabetes When fluid inside the eye does not drain properly from a buildup of pressure inside the eye, it results in another eye problem with diabetes called glaucoma. The pressure damages nerves and the vessels in the eye, causing changes in vision. Treatment of open-angle glaucoma -- the most common form of glaucoma -- requires lowering the eye's pressure by increasing the drainage of aqueous humor or decreasing the production of the fluid. Medications can accomplish both of these goals. With open-angle glaucoma, there may be no symptoms of this eye problem at all until the disease is very advanced and there is significant vision loss. In the less common form of this eye problem, symptoms can include headaches, eye aches or pain, blurred vision, watering eyes, halos around lights, and loss of vision. Treatment of this eye problem in diabetes can include special eye drops, laser procedures, medicine, or surgery. Surgery and laser treatments are directed at improving the eye's aqueous drainage. You can prevent serious eye problems in diabetes problems by getting an annual glaucoma screening from your eye doctor. Diabetic Retinopathy The retina is a group of specialized cells that convert light as it enters though the lens into images. The eye nerve or optic nerve transmits visual information to the brain. Diabetic retinopathy is one of the vascular (blood-vessel related) complications related to diabetes. This diabetes eye problem is due to damage of small vessels and is called a "microvascular complication." Kidney disease and nerve damage due to diabetes are also microvascular complications. Large blood vessel damage (also called macrovascular complications) includes complications like heart disease and stroke. The microvascular complications have, in nume Continue reading >>