Diabetes is a complex disease that can cause serious medical complications,
including diabetic eye disease. Perhaps the most commonly known diabetic
eye disease is
diabetic retinopathy, a condition in which blood vessels in the back of the eye leak into the
eye. Though diabetic retinopathy is common among diabetics, individuals
suffering from diabetes can also be at increased risk of developing cataracts or
Glaucoma is a condition in which the fluid in the eye does not flow normally,
resulting in increased pressure in the eye, which could result in blindness.
Individuals with a family history of the disease, high blood pressure
and high blood sugar (often caused by diabetes) are at higher risk of
developing the eye disease.
Research suggests individuals with diabetes are twice as likely to develop open-angle
glaucoma as non-diabetics. One study performed between 2001 and 2007 showed
that diabetes could increase one’s risk of developing open-angle
glaucoma by as much as 35 percent. Hypertension increases risk of developing
the disease by 17 percent and individuals with both hypertension and diabetes
are 48 percent more likely to develop open-angle glaucoma.
Open-angle glaucoma is the most common form of the eye disease, which is
the leading cause of irreversible blindness. More than 2.2 million people
in the United States have glaucoma. Symptoms of open-angle diabetes typically
do not present themselves until the disease has progressed, making it
more difficult to treat.
While vision loss caused by glaucoma cannot be regained, early detection
and proper treatment could slow the effects of the disease, potentially
preventing blindness. Treatment of glaucoma typically consists of prescription
eye drops to reduce the buildup of pressure in the eye.
The National Eye Institute recommends that diabetics undergo a dilated
eye exam annually. If you have a family history of glaucoma, suffer from
hypertension, or are diabetic, contact Key-Whitman today for acomprehensive eye exam.
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