Type 2 Diabetics at Greater Risk for Glaucoma

People with diabetes can lower their risk for glaucoma by making regular doctor visits and adopting healthy lifestyle habits.

Eye Doctor Checks Diabetic for Glaucoma

What is Type-2 Diabetes?

Type-2 diabetes, the most common form of diabetes, is caused by insulin resistance which results in high blood glucose levels. The condition occurs most often in older or middle-aged adults, but it can also occur in teens and children.

Unmanaged type-2 diabetes can lead to many health complications and can increase the risk of glaucoma, a family of eye diseases characterized by dangerously high eye pressure. Spikes in intraocular pressure can damage the optic nerve and can cause progressive vision loss and blindness.

Glaucoma can be challenging to diagnose because it often develops slowly without noticeable symptoms. By the time changes in eyesight are noticed, permanent nerve damage has already occurred.

If you have type-2 diabetes, you can take two proactive steps to prevent glaucoma and protect your vision.

Manage Your Diabetes to Prevent Glaucoma

Controlling your diabetes can help promote overall health and prevent glaucoma and vision loss. This includes eating a nutritious diet, exercising regularly and taking your medication as directed. When you regulate your blood sugar levels, blood pressure and cholesterol, you are actively reducing your risk of glaucoma. 

Being obese and leading a sedentary lifestyle contribute to insulin resistance, so talk to your doctor about how to lose weight with diet and exercise.

Annual Eye Exams Can Prevent Glaucoma

Visit an ophthalmologist at least once per year for a comprehensive eye exam with dilation. During the exam, the ophthalmologist will dilate your pupil to evaluate the health of your retina, retinal blood vessels and optic nerve. Dilation is essential to monitor your eye health and assess your risk for glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy, another diabetes-related eye condition, which can damage retinal blood vessels.

November is National Diabetes Month, so call your eye doctor to make an appointment for a comprehensive eye exam with dilation. Your ophthalmologist can also provide strategies for effectively managing your diabetes and preserving your eyesight.