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Glaucoma and Diabetes: Understanding the Connection and Managing Risks

Gina Walters


glaucoma and diabetes

Glaucoma and Diabetes are two diseases that affect millions of people around the world.  

The two conditions may seem unrelated at first, but there is a connection between Glaucoma and Diabetes. 

People with Diabetes have more risk of developing Glaucoma.

Let us explore more about the relationship between Glaucoma and Diabetes.

Can Diabetes cause Glaucoma

Yes, Diabetes may lead to the problem of Glaucoma. 

Research states that diabetic people are twice as likely to get Glaucoma than people without Diabetes.

Glaucoma is an eye condition that may cause vision problems and blindness due to High Eye Pressure or High Intraocular Pressure (IOP).

A study states that Diabetes may increase one’s risk of Open Angle Glaucoma by 36 percent. 

Common Diabetes eye diseases like Diabetic Retinopathy can also increase the risk of Glaucoma in people.


  • Diabetic Retinopathy: A Diabetes-related eye disease that may damage the retina blood vessels and lead to vision loss.
  • Fibronectin: A glycoprotein that helps in cell bonding, wound healing, and tissue organization.
  • A theory states that high blood sugar in people with Diabetic Retinopathy can increase Fibronectin. 

    Having excess Fibronectin in the eyes may lead to Glaucoma by blocking the eye drainage system.

    Another theory states that Diabetic Retinopathy can lead to Neurovascular Glaucoma.

    Additionally, Diabetic Retinopathy can damage the retina blood vessels and may lead to the growth of abnormal blood vessels.

    These extra blood vessels can lead to high IOP by blocking the eye fluid drainage system. 

    Consult a doctor for a Glaucoma eye test and discuss your medical history for proper treatment.

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    Can you get Glaucoma without having Diabetes

    Yes, it is possible to develop Glaucoma without having Diabetes.

    Diabetes is a risk factor for Glaucoma, but Glaucoma can also occur in people without Diabetes as well.

    The Glaucoma causes include high Intraocular Pressure, eye injury, medical conditions like high blood pressure, and more.

    However, there are many other risk factors that may increase one’s risk of developing Glaucoma. 

    These risk factors of Glaucoma include family history of Glaucoma, medical conditions like High blood pressure, thin cornea, and more. 

    One should use strategies like caffeine control, eye protection, and more to help prevent Glaucoma.

    Do not smoke, as smoking may also increase one’s risk of Glaucoma.

    Glaucoma diagnosis and treatment

    Tonometry (Glaucoma eye checkup)
    Tonometry test (Glaucoma eye checkup)

    Regular Glaucoma eye checkups are important, as early diagnosis and treatment may help prevent vision loss.

    Early diagnosis is important because Open Angle Glaucoma, the most common type of Glaucoma, develops without any noticeable symptoms.

    Consult a doctor for a complete eye examination to help detect and diagnose Glaucoma early.

    A complete Glaucoma eye checkup may include Glaucoma tests like Tonometry, Pachymetry, and more.

    Diabetes patients should get a dilated eye exam once every year.

    The doctor will examine one’s test results and recommend a proper treatment option.

    The Glaucoma treatment options include medications, laser therapy, and surgery. 

    The prescription medicines include Glaucoma eye drops like Beta-blockers, Bimatoprost (Careprost), and more. 

    However, the doctor may recommend laser therapy and surgery in case the medicines are ineffective or along with Glaucoma medicines.

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    Key takeaways

    Many people are curious about the link between Glaucoma and Diabetes.

    Diabetes can increase one’s risk of developing Glaucoma due to its effect on Intraocular Pressure and blood vessels. 

    Glaucoma is an eye condition that may cause vision problems and blindness due to increased Intraocular Pressure (IOP).

    A person should monitor their eye fluid pressure and blood sugar levels to maintain healthy eyes.

    Consult a doctor for a Glaucoma eye test, proper diagnosis, and effective treatment options.

    Frequently Asked Question

    Is Glaucoma connected to Diabetes?

    Yes, there is a connection between Glaucoma and Diabetes. Diabetes may affect one’s eye fluid pressure and cause abnormal blood vessel growth inside the eyes. 

    This can block the eye’s drainage angle and increase the risk of Glaucoma. Consult a doctor and get regular eye exams for Glaucoma management.

    Why does Diabetes cause Glaucoma?

    Diabetes can lead to Glaucoma by damaging the balance of eye fluids and blocking the drainage angle. Get a dilated eye test every year if you have Diabetes. 

    What type of Diabetes causes Glaucoma?

    Both type 1 and type 2 Diabetes can increase the risk of developing Glaucoma. Also, untreated Diabetic Retinopathy can increase one’s risk of Glaucoma. 

    What type of Glaucoma is most common in people with Diabetes?

    Primary Open Angle Glaucoma is the most common type of Glaucoma in people with Diabetes. Additionally, Diabetes may also lead to Neurovascular Glaucoma.

    What are the symptoms of Glaucoma?

    The Glaucoma symptoms depend on the type of Glaucoma. Open Angle Glaucoma does not have any noticeable symptoms in the early stage but includes symptoms like tunnel vision, blurred vision, and more. 

    On the other hand, Closed Angle Glaucoma has more sudden and serious symptoms like red eye, eye pain, Glaucoma headache, and more. 

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