Can a Diabetes Drug Protect You from Glaucoma?
What is Glaucoma?
Scientists have identified several risk factors for glaucoma, including age, ethnicity, family history and other medical conditions. Specifically, people with diabetes are twice as likely to develop glaucoma.
That is why the doctors at Mittleman Eye are excited to learn of new research showing that a popular type of diabetes medication may help to reduce a patient’s risk for glaucoma by nearly half. Read this blog to learn more about the study’s findings.
Glaucoma Research Details
Researchers looked at the potential effects that glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor (GLP-1R) agonists, drugs prescribed for type 2 diabetes, have for lowering one’s risk for glaucoma.
Over 6,000 people with diabetes participated in the study, with nearly 2,000 of the subjects taking the GLP-1R agonists. After five months, participants who took the diabetes medication were 44% less likely to be diagnosed with glaucoma than those who did.
The Scheie Eye Institute at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine conducted this study. It was peer reviewed and subsequently published in the prestigious British Journal of Ophthalmology.
What This Research Means?
This research shows correlation rather than causation, but the data was significant enough to merit further studies on these diabetes drugs and their effect on preventing glaucoma.
Because existing glaucoma treatments rely primarily on lowering intraocular pressure, having a drug that could possibly block glaucoma progression may be a useful tool for ophthalmologists in the treatment of this eye condition.
Certainly, much more research will need to be done before doctors start prescribing the medication to patients without diabetes. However, the initial findings indicate that, at present, doctors may want to strongly consider prescribing these specific drugs to diabetic patients to simultaneously reduce their risk for glaucoma.
Schedule an Appointment with Mittleman Eye
You can count on the doctors at Mittleman Eye to continue to monitor the emerging research on glaucoma so that they may provide you with the best care possible. In the meantime, regardless of whether you have diabetes, it is important to undergo regular comprehensive eye examinations to screen for glaucoma before it robs you of your vision. If you have already been diagnosed with glaucoma, our doctors are available to treat the condition to preserve as much vision as possible.
Patients who wish to make an appointment can schedule one directly online or call or text (561) 500-2020.