World Glaucoma Day 2024: How Diabetes Can Put Your Vision at Risk? Expert Shares

World Glaucoma Day 2024: How Diabetes Can Put Your Vision at Risk? Expert Shares

World Glaucoma Day, observed on March 12th annually, aims to raise awareness about glaucoma, a leading cause of irreversible blindness, especially among individuals with diabetes who are at a higher risk of developing glaucoma. The day highlights the importance of regular eye check-ups to detect and manage glaucoma early, underscoring the need for global collaboration to combat this sight-threatening disease.

Dr Girish Parmar, Senior Consultant, Endocrinology & Diabetes, Nanavati Max Super Speciality Hospital says, “India, often termed the ‘diabetes capital’ of the world, faces a staggering health challenge with approximately 77 million individuals affected by diabetes. Shockingly, this number is projected to skyrocket to 147.2 million by 2045, as per estimates by the International Diabetes Federation. Beyond its impact on blood sugar levels, diabetes significantly influences eye health, elevating the risk of conditions like glaucoma.”

In this article, let’s delve into the intricate connection between diabetes and glaucoma, emphasizing the criticality of early detection and proactive management.

Link Between Diabetes and Glaucoma

Dr Girish adds, “Diabetes casts a shadow of vulnerability over various eye ailments, with glaucoma emerging as a prominent concern. Glaucoma encompasses a cluster of eye disorders characterized by damage to the optic nerve, imperative for vision, often due to heightened pressure within the eye. A study titled the Spectrum of Eye Disease in Diabetes (SPEED) conducted in India revealed that approximately 4.9% of individuals with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) grapple with glaucoma. Furthermore, the risk amplifies with age, particularly among individuals surpassing the age of 40, and is intricately linked with diabetic neuropathy, a form of nerve damage stemming from diabetes.”

Identifying Risk Factors and Early Symptoms Of Glaucoma

“Various factors contribute to the heightened susceptibility of diabetic patients to develop glaucoma, including genetic predisposition, advancing age, and the duration of diabetes. Early symptoms of glaucoma may manifest subtly, such as a gradual loss of peripheral vision or blurred vision. Nonetheless, in numerous instances, glaucoma progresses stealthily, exhibiting no discernible symptoms until substantial damage ensues, underscoring the imperative need for routine eye examinations to facilitate early detection”, further highlights Dr Girish.

Glaucoma Management and Prevention

Dr Girish Parmar recommends, “Efficient management of diabetes serves as the cornerstone for mitigating the risk of glaucoma. This entails meticulous regulation of blood sugar levels, regular monitoring of ocular health, and embracing a wholesome lifestyle. Technological innovations like optical coherence tomography (OCT) play a pivotal role in the timely identification of glaucomatous alterations within the eye.”

“For diabetic individuals, especially those aged 40 and above, comprehensive eye evaluations stand as a proactive measure to screen for glaucoma and other ocular ailments. Early detection coupled with prompt intervention holds the potential to forestall vision loss and enhance overall well-being”, concludes Dr Parmar.

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