Good morning to you! Ugly picture, huh? Since this morning I'm having eye surgery, I thought I would talk about the connection between diabetes and glaucoma. Seems like a timely subject, and one I haven't really touched on before. I did learn a few things while reading up on this subject, so hopefully, you will too!
Surprisingly, the connection between diabetes and glaucoma is weak. Each disease by itself may lead to progressive loss of vision, but one does not cause the other. Glaucoma is defined as~a slow progressive disease that shows no obvious symptoms until in its late stages. Unfortunately, that is when people have noticeable vision loss. This loss of vision is characterized by damage to the optic nerve by a decrease in vascularization (or blood flow) to the eye and increased intraocular pressures.
Apparently, from what I read, glaucoma is found in people with diabetes because they go to the doctor more often. Actually, 1 in 4 people are diagnosed with glaucoma!!! That is how common the disease is. Here are some interesting stats on glaucoma that I found to be interesting...
~Glaucoma may develop in anyone at any age! Not a very discriminating disease if you ask me.
~By the time a person with glaucoma notices any sort of vision loss and goes to the doctor because they are having trouble seeing, 75% of the damage has already been done! 75%!!!!
~While everyone is at risk, people of African descent are especially at risk. One in 13 has glaucoma, and the disease occurs 4 to 6 times more often in Blacks than in Whites. In addition, glaucoma often occurs earlier in life and more frequently results in blindness in Blacks.
Early detection and treatment is crucial in order to save a person's sight. There is no cure for the disease, but its ravaging effects can be controlled and blindness prevented. Testing for glaucoma is simple, quick and painless. The best way to detect the disease is through comprehensive eye examinations on a regular basis, including checking sight at various distances, testing the fluid pressure in the eyes, inspecting the optic nerve for signs of damage, and, if necessary, measuring visual field to determine if any peripheral vision has been lost.
The most common form of treatment is eye drops. Other treatments may include pills, laser surgery -- performed when eye drops do not stop deterioration of the field of vision.
One doctor who studied the link between diabetes and glucoma suggested that some studies have shown that if diabetes is controlled within the first five years, the chances of eye damage can be reduced.
To summarize, it is important to get your eyes checked on a routine basis whether you have diabetes or not. Glaucoma affects everyone and you will not notice its blinding symptoms until it is too late.