Diabetic glaucoma is one of the many eye problems that is associated with the diabetes. Glaucoma is so dangerous because it is the leading cause of worldwide irreversible blindness. People with the disease are two times as likely to develop glaucoma than those who do not have diabetes. Diabetics are at an increased risk for developing glaucoma because a buildup of pressure may cause the fluid inside the eye not to be able to drain properly. When this occurs, optical blood vessels nerves can become damaged, leading to changes in vision and sometimes vision loss.


The Different Types of Diabetic Glaucoma


There are several different types of glaucoma, two of which are most associated with diabetic glaucoma. Unfortunately both types can lead to blindness if not diagnosed and treated early enough.

The most common form (at least 90 percent of all cases) is called open-angle glaucoma and affects about 3 million people in the United States Alone. It is called open-angle glaucoma because it has a wide and open angle between the eye’s cornea and iris. This is a lifelong condition that develops slowly and can often cause damage that shows no symptoms. It is caused when the slow clogging of drainage canals results in increased pressure on the eye. The second type of glaucoma that affects diabetes is a rare form called neovascular glaucoma that is difficult to treat. This form of the disease occurs when new blood vessels grow on the eye’s iris, closing off the flow of fluid in the eye and increasing pressure. Drainage implants and laser surgery are two of the treatment options that are commonly used for neovascular glaucoma.


Recognizing and Treating Diabetic Glaucoma


Sometimes the symptoms of diabetic glaucoma are overlooked, which causes a delay of diagnosis and treatment. Recognizing the signs of diabetic glaucoma is important so that a person may get help for the condition. Symptoms of diabetic glaucoma may include aches and pains in the eyes, headaches, blurry vision, watery eyes, glares around lights and vision loss. Although all of these side effects may not be present in a person who has diabetic glaucoma, even one of them should be taken seriously and discussed with a person’s health care provider. The earlier a person discovers they have glaucoma, the better their chances are of avoiding permanent vision loss.

Because symptoms are do not always present themselves in the early stages of this issue, getting an annual glaucoma screening from a person’s eye doctor will drastically increase the chances of timely detection. For diabetic glaucoma treatment doctor may prescribe eye drops, laser procedures, medicine or surgery to treat diabetic glaucoma. Laser procedures can normally be conducted in an eye doctor’s office. However, more serious surgeries have to take place in a hospital or surgery center.