Met, Could help Prevent Blindness according to Study


According to a news study, a drug usually used to treat diabetes could possibly reduce the risk of the blindness causing eye condition known as glaucoma.

During a ten year study, researchers found that those who took metformin, a drug usually used to treat diabetes, had their risk of glaucoma reduced by up to 25% as compared to those not taking the drug.

“Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness worldwide and classic open-angle glaucoma develops in late middle age or late age. So we hypothesized that a drug that mimics caloric restriction, such as metformin, might reduce the risk of glaucoma,” according to professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor Julia Richards.

How metformin does this is still unknown. And just because the drug can be correlated with a reduced risk for glaucoma does not mean that metformin itself lowers the risk.

Glaucoma is a condition caused by an excess of fluid in the eye because of a lack of adequate drainage or damage to the optic nerves.  “Somehow metformin is affecting one of those conditions,” according to Dr. Mark Fromer, ophthalmologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

Fromer added that while the studies tell us metformin helps, it still not an ideal drug for treating glaucoma in people without diabetes as it could cause their blood sugar levels to drop too low.

Despite being not involved in the study, former said that “People without diabetes should not be taking metformin.” “If not monitored carefully by a doctor, it can have significant consequences.”

Richards, however, believes otherwise.

According to Richards: “But since this study was done in a diabetic population, the conclusions are currently limited to this population,” she said. “Further work, such as a clinical trial, would be needed to tell if this could be extended to non-diabetic populations or used to prevent progression of glaucoma in those who already have the disease.”


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