Glaucoma Awareness Month

If you have diabetes, you know how important it is to look after the health of your eyes. This week, in honor of Glaucoma Awareness Month, we’d like to alert you to some resources you can use to find out more about this common eye condition and to learn about ways to reduce your risk.


Glaucoma is the name for a group of conditions that damage the optic nerve (the nerve that carries signals from the eye to the brain), potentially leading to vision loss or even blindness. In primary open-angle glaucoma, the most common form, fluid builds up in the eye, and the optic nerve is damaged by the resulting increase in pressure. Diabetes and high blood pressure are both associated with an increased risk of open-angle glaucoma.

-- Keep an eye on your vision! Learn about preventive steps and treatments for diabetic retinopathy from retinal specialist Dr. Charles Wykoff. >>

The glaucoma education Web site of the National Eye Health Education Program of the National Eye Institute includes basic information on glaucoma, a glaucoma quiz, a glossary, and frequently asked questions, among other resources. Information is available in both English and Spanish and can also be read aloud using the “ReadSpeaker” function for those who have difficulty viewing text on a computer screen.

The Web site of the Glaucoma Research Foundation includes information on the various tests used to diagnose glaucoma, a section on glaucoma facts and statistics, details on finding financial assistance for treatments, and information on diabetes and glaucoma. The text can be adjusted to varying sizes and text and background contrast levels can be changed to make reading easier for those with visual difficulties.

The glaucoma resources section of the Mayo Clinic Web site includes information on symptoms, risk factors, and treatments — both conventional and alternative — for glaucoma, as well as advice on how to prepare for an appointment with your ophthalmologist and steps you can take to prevent glaucoma. The text size can be increased to make reading easier.

This blog entry was written by Web Editor Diane Fennell.

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  • Esat

    When you read the actlries by Henci Goer and Michel Odent (linked to through the page that I posted earlier), you will see why the concern about large babies and pregnancy/labor complications is pretty unfounded. What has been done is that the complications that are experienced by women with UNCONTROLLED, Type I diabetes are being extrapolated and hypothesized to exist in women and pregnancies with gestational diabetes . Many of us believe that this hypothesis is not based in scientific fact. Thus our concern with using a test that one author in an internal medicine text described as SO prone to false positives that it should never be used in clinical practice, and that it should only be used for research purposes. Therefore, it seems to me that the A1C is still the more reliable test, if we are to use any screening test for GD during pregnancy at all. After all, the placenta is actively working to produce higher blood sugars during pregnancy than women have during their non-pregnant states. How can we dare to question the placenta, which has successfully sustained the human race for thousands of years? To do so would seem to be insisting that the pregnant body follow the same standards as the non-pregnant female body, or the male body.