The Connection Between Sugar and Glaucoma

Is there are connection between sugar and glaucoma? The relationship between glaucoma and sugar diseases such as diabetes is confusing and controversial. The first thing to realize is that there is type 1 and type 2 diabetes as well as many different types of glaucoma. In the first type of diabetes, the beta cells in the pancreas no longer make diabetes. In the second type of diabetes, insulin-making cells are not destroyed. Patients with this type make more insulin than non-diabetics. However, the high blood sugar is not lowered by the increase in insulin due to insulin resistance. In type 1 diabetes, insulin replacement therapy is the treatment. On the other hand, lifestyle measures are taken to deal with type 2 as well as medications.

Various Glaucoma Types

Since there are various types of glaucoma as well, there needs to be a determination of the type of diabetes there is as well as the type of glaucoma in order to determine the relationship. One thing that is certain is that a long period of uncontrolled diabetes of both types will lead to poor blood supply to the retina and leaking blood vessels. The retina starves for oxygen.

A Word About Open-Angle Glaucoma and Diabetes

For years, researchers have been intrigued by the most common glaucoma type called open-angle glaucoma and diabetes. Compared to people with no diabetes, those with the disease have twice the likelihood of developing glaucoma in comparison. In the same way, there is a higher chance of someone with open-angle glaucoma compared to someone who does not have the disease.

Diabetic Eye Disease

For diabetics, diabetic eye disease is a common complication. This term refers to eye problems that a group of people with diabetics develops. One of them is glaucoma. Diabetic eye disease also includes cataracts and diabetic retinopathy. This disease damages the retina’s tiny blood vessels. It is actually the most common eye disease for people who are diabetic. Also, cataract tends to develop at an early age for individuals that have diabetes.

Neovascular Glaucoma

Neovascular glaucoma occurs if there is new growth of blood vessels on the iris which raises eye pressure and closes off the flow of fluid in the eyes. This condition is not easy to treat. Laser surgery is one option to reduce iris and retina blood vessels that are abnormal. Drainage implants are sometimes used with success.

This glaucoma type is rare and is referred to as Neovascular glaucoma. This is related with other abnormalities, the most common being diabetes. In a few diabetic retinopathy cases, there is damage to the retina blood vessels. The retina manufactures creates new blood vessels that are abnormal.

Generally, complications of the eyes are common for diabetics. Make sure you get an eye exam regularly if you happen to have diabetes. In fact, the recommendation is to get a dilated exam of the eyes once a year if you have diabetes. In the event you are located in Arizona, a great eye specialist is the best source for information you can trust, such as Arizona Retinal Specialists.