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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How are diabetes and glaucoma related?

  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • Glaucoma Australia is the peak glaucoma awareness/education/support association in Australia.It is a national, not-for-profit registered charity dedicated to providing educational services to raise awareness about … View Profile

    Some studies show that there is a link between diabetes and glaucoma and others do not. However, if diabetes is not well controlled and abnormal blood vessels grow in the eye, a secondary type of glaucoma can develop.

  • 1

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    Carolien Koreneff

    Counsellor, Credentialled Diabetes Educator (CDE), Diabetes Educator, Psychotherapist, Registered Nurse

    Carolien Koreneff is a Somatic (body-oriented) psychotherapist, Health Coach, Counsellor as well as a Credentialed Diabetes Educator with over 20 years experience. She currently sees … View Profile

    People at diabetes are at risk of developing retinopathy (damage to the blood vessels in the retina) due to changes of the vasculature, but are also at increased risk of developing catracts and glaucoma. The most important factor in avoiding eye damage due to diabetes is by keeping your sugar levels and blood pressure under control. I believe there are genetic factors involved in the developed of Glaucoma, but I cannot tell you which type of glaucoma this refers to.  The following website may help you get a better understanding of daibetic eye disease: http://www.nei.nih.gov/health/diabetic/retinopathy.asp
    You may want to check out this site and if you have any further concerns or questions it may be best to talk to your optometrist or ophthalmologist (eye specialist doctor).

  • 3

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    Eden Kwok

    Optometrist

    I am an optometrist at OPSM Midland Gate I have an interest in contact lens practice, ocular therapeutics, and paediatric optometry View Profile

    Diabetes is a disease that affects the tiny blood vessels throughout the body, such as in the case of the retina. Initial damage to these tiny blood vessels reduces the normal blood flow to tissues and affects the delivery of oxygen and nutrients via the blood.

    There is a theory that damage to the tiny blood vessels that supply the optic nerve at the back of the eye causes reduced blood flow and therefore damage to the optic nerve. Therefore this increases the risk of developing glacuoma. This is one theory of why diabetes, along with some other cardiovascular conditions have been identified in some studies as risk factors for developing glaucoma.

    Secondary glaucoma can also be caused by severe diabetes in which new vessels (that form as a result of severe diabetic eye disease) block the trabecular meshwork. The trabecular meshwork is the main route of aqueous fluid drainage from inside the eye. If this outflow of this fluid is blocked or reduced, the intraocular pressure increases and glaucoma may result.

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