If you're overweight or have diabetes, you're at serious risk for glaucoma. This eye disease can cause you to lose your eyesight.
First, what is glaucoma? Glaucoma isn't just one thing. It is a general name given to a type of eye disease. In general, it is caused by fluid building up within the eyeball. You don't notice this at first, because the fluid pressure grows gradually. Usually by the time you realize what is happening, the eye has severe damage. The pressure damages the optic nerve - the stalk that carries all of the visual information to your brain.
It's normal to have fluid within your eye. That's what keeps it round! It's like a balloon filled with water. The fluid naturally "leaks" slowly into a channel at the front of your eye, and refills from within, so that the fluid is always clean, fresh, and full of the proper nutrients.
How does the eyeball fluid pressure get too high? There are many different reasons. For example, if you gain weight so that your face becomes puffy, you could end up blocking that drainage duct. The fluid could then "back up" in your eye, causing it to build pressure and damage the optic nerve.
It's not that your vision becomes "fuzzy" in most cases. It's not like you need glasses. It's an actual damaging of the optic nerve, meaning whole portions of your vision begin to go away. For example, if you watched TV with your eyes focussed on the TV, and closed your left eye, you might realize that you couldn't see the top left of the TV image. It usually begins with small spots of "non-vision" and grows as the damage continues.
People with diabetes are already having issues with their blood flow, usually have weight issues and often nutrition issues as well. Researchers feel that these also contribute to the glaucoma situation - causing more pressure in the eye region and not allowing the body to heal itself properly from the damage that is being caused.
Researchers have found that individuals who get their blood sugars under control, and who lower their blood pressure, end up with less pressure in their eyes and healthier vision. As far as medical treatment, usually the first thing they do is to give you eye drops that shut off the incoming fluid to your eye. That way your eye stabilizes at its current pressure, while the doctors figure out what else can be done.
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