Features November 2011 Issue

Diabetes and Hypertension May Increase Your Risk of Glaucoma

To be safe, ask your eye doctor for a yearly glaucoma test.

If you have diabetes, you are probably aware of your increased risk for vision loss from diabetic retinopathy, a disease that damages the blood vessels in the back of the eye. But there is growing evidence that people with diabetes and/or high blood pressure may be at risk for open-angle glaucoma (OAG), as well. The leading cause of blindness in the U.S., OAG quietly and systematically damages the optic nerve. By the time most people realize they have OAG, their vision loss is permanent. In a study published in the July 2011 issue of Ophthalmology, researchers reviewed the medical claims of 2,182,000 adults with diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia and/or obesity—all of which increase the risk for cardiovascular disease singly and in combination.

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