Diabetes and Glaucoma

by Dr. Julian Whitaker
Filed Under: Blood Sugar, Diabetes Complications
Last Reviewed 02/06/2014

Glaucoma is another serious eye disorder that is more common in people with diabetes. Imbalances between the production and outflow of fluid in the eye create abnormally high pressures in the eye that can lead to loss of peripheral vision (“tunnel vision”). Although this can happen very quickly with acute glaucoma, most cases of glaucoma are chronic, meaning that vision impairment occurs progressively over time, so vision loss is gradual and there’s time to take protective measures.

The reason people living with diabetes are at higher risk of developing more severe forms of this condition is because, in addition to the damage caused by an inability to control blood sugar levels, abnormal eye pressure related to glaucoma further damages the nerves and blood vessels in the eye.

If you’ve been diagnosed with glaucoma, have regular checkups. If this condition is not addressed, it can cause permanent vision loss. Common treatments are drugs and surgery, but studies suggest that several natural agents can reduce pressures in patients with glaucoma. The best studied is high-dose vitamin C, but Ginkgo biloba, bilberry, and magnesium also appear to be helpful for treating this vision concern.

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