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Health Tips November 03, 2023

The Link Between Diabetes and Glaucoma: What You Need to Know

Medically Reviewed by Pharm Ella

Written by Adaobi Oduenyi

Diabetes has become a growing concern that touches lives across diverse socio-economic backgrounds in Nigeria. While managing diabetes is challenging in itself, there's another silent threat that often lurks in the shadows: Glaucoma. This article explores the profound connection between diabetes and glaucoma, shedding light on the increased risk for diabetics and offering insights into how to monitor and manage this condition with empathy.


The Rising Tide of Diabetes in Nigeria

Diabetes has become a common household name in Nigeria, transcending socio-economic layers. Whether it's Chief Ade, a wealthy businessman, or Mama Chinedu, a hardworking street vendor, diabetes can affect anyone. That is why it is important to recognize that diabetics, irrespective of one's background, are at a higher risk of developing glaucoma.

The Connection: Diabetes and Glaucoma

Imagine Hauwa, a middle-class working mother who diligently manages her diabetes. without knowing the increased pressure in her eye caused by diabetes that might lead to glaucoma.

The link between these conditions lies in the eye's drainage system. In diabetics, high blood sugar levels can damage the delicate blood vessels that nourish the optic nerve. This, in turn, can elevate intraocular pressure, a common risk factor for glaucoma.

Awareness and Early Detection: A Vital Step

Across Lagos, individuals like Ike, a dedicated teacher, and Shola, a student pursuing her dreams, are often unaware of the impending threat of glaucoma. Early detection is key to managing glaucoma, especially for diabetics. Regular eye examinations can help identify any subtle changes that might lead to vision loss.


Managing Glaucoma for Diabetics

Managing glaucoma is a journey. This journey becomes more challenging for those who may have limited access to healthcare. However, with the right information and support, it is possible.


1. Medication: Medically managing glaucoma involves eye drops or oral medications. These treatments can be more accessible for those from different socio-economic backgrounds, making them a viable option for many.

2. Surgery: For more advanced cases, surgery may be necessary. In the case of low-income earners, access to affordable surgical options is essential.

3. Lifestyle Modifications: Adequate sleep, regular exercise, and a balanced diet can help reduce the risk and slow the progression of glaucoma. These lifestyle changes can be implemented by individuals no matter their socio-economic levels.


Support and Empathy: A Shared Responsibility

In Nigeria, diabetes and glaucoma are challenges that touch the lives of many. As a community, it is our shared responsibility to raise awareness, offer support, and promote empathy. Communities, healthcare providers, and governments can come together to ensure affordable and accessible eye care for all.



The connection between diabetes and glaucoma is a thread that binds us all. Whether it's the affluent businessman, the street vendor, the teacher, or the student, the risks are real, but so are the possibilities for early detection and management. Through empathy, awareness, and collective action, we can strive to protect the vision of Nigerians from all walks of life. The link between diabetes and glaucoma is what we need to know, but the path forward is paved with care and support for one another.


If you want to know more you can book a session with a doctor 


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