Ophthalmologist Questions Glaucoma

My mother is highly diabetic and is not able to see very clearly. Could it be the onset of glaucoma?

My mother is 70 years old and has been suffering from diabetes from the last 19 years. Of late she has been complaining that is she is unable to read and see clearly. She also complains of hazy vision which eventually clears off on its own. Could it be the onset of glaucoma?

13 Answers

Your mother's symptoms can be from many sources; from diabetes, to cataracts to problems with eye pressure, or even dry eye, and the need for spectacles. Studies are not conclusive as to whether patients with diabetes are more susceptible to glaucoma. I recommend she have a thorough eye exam to identify the cause of her symptoms.
If your mother has diabetes she has a higher risk of cataracts, glaucoma, and variability of vision due to refractive changes (eyeglasses) associated with sugar levels in her blood stream. That her vision may sometime blur and later clear makes me concerned that she may have vision threatening diabetic retinopathy. This is a very common yet serious complication of diabetes and must be treated quickly to prevent loss of vision. Mother should be seen by an ophthalmologist ASAP. She is in jeopardy of losing vision. She may require injections into the eye or laser to prevent further loss.

If she has cataracts or glaucoma, her vision is at risk but treatment earlier is easier. If you are reluctant or have no time to take her to the ophthalmologist, you may find your life disrupted due to the need of caring for a parent who is permanently blind.

Roger Ohanesian, MD
With diabetes for 19 years, I would be concerned with diabetic retinopathy. This can cause either swelling or bleeding in the retina and vitreousthat could lead to vision loss. Also, at this age, cataracts, which is a clouding of the lens, could be causing decreased vision. I would recommend thatshe see an ophthalmologist (an eye MD) or a retina surgeon to begin an evaluation of her.

Sincerely,
Sean Adrean MD, FAAO
This could be one of several common problems associated with diabetes. Unfortunately, it is impossible tell the actual cause without an examination. My best advice, would be to have her examined, as diabetes can have some very serious side effects in the eye. If her vision is declining, I would recommend a dilated eye exam with a qualified eye physician.
See an ophthalmologist since poor vision in senior diabetic could be from one of the following conditions
- variable sugar levels could affect visual changes
- Cataract
- Glaucoma
-Diabetic Retinopathy
-Diabetic macular edema
-Optic neuropathy
Only a qualified trained Ophthalmologist can rule out the cause of the problem after thorough examination.
I hope you got the answer
She needs to have an Ophthalmologic exam.
Your mother is at high risk for visual problems due to her age and her long-standing diabetes. She certainly would benefit from an examination by an ophthalmologist fairly soon (not an optometrist). If she is lucky, she would just need a new pair of eyeglasses. Diabetes can create significant retinal problems which can lower the vision - treatment is available for this. She is at risk for age-related cataracts, which can be fixed nicely. She is at risk for age-related macular degeneration. Glaucoma is of course a possibility, but these others are more likely. She needs an evaluation.
Diabetes can disturb vision in several ways. Please bring your mother to an ophthalmologist for a full evaluation. Diabetes remains a leading cause of blindness but it can be prevent0ed with treatment. Please bring her!
It is more likely that your mother needs new glasses. Although she also has cataracts, possibly diabetic retinopathy and lastly glaucoma. She definitely needs an eye exam. The ADA (American Diabetic Association) and the AAO (American Academy of Ophthalmolgy) both recommend an annual comprehensive dilated eye exam for all diabetics.
In diabetics, the most common cause of hazy vision which clears a few hours later is fluctuations in blood sugar. If your mother has had diabetes for 19 years, she needs an evaluation by an ophthalmologist for diabetic retinopathy which could likely be related to her complaints of being unable to read and see clearly. At age 70, she likely also has some cataract development which could be causing some of her visual problems. She needs to see an ophthalmologist for further evaluation of these issues.
"Highly diabetic" causes me to be more concerned about Diabetic Macular Edema, Diabetic Retinopathy, and other related sequelae. Glaucoma usually manifests first with visual field loss; not hazy vision.
If her retina (and central retina, which is the macula) has diabetic disease, the sooner she sees an Ophthalmologist the better for her long-term vision.
Diabetes causes cataracts, or retinal bleeding and less often glaucoma. The former is likely. See an eye doctor to confirm and treat.
There are multiple reason for blurred vision in diabetes, including dry eye, macular edema and diabetic retinopathy. Also like any other elderly she might have developed cataract and glaucoma. She definitely needs an eye exam.