Diabetes is a complicated condition which can lead to a multitude of health problems. A lot of people aren't aware of how it can put you at risk of developing several eye-related diseases. Often, these include cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and also several other conditions that, even when seemingly unrelated to your sight, may impact your eye health.
Diabetic retinopathy, which occurs when high blood glucose levels cause harm to the retina. It can also lead to blindness in adults.
Even though cataracts, which lead to the loss of vision, and are a typical result of old age, many people don't know that diabetes can lead to the early development of them.
Your chances of developing glaucoma, another condition that can result in loss of vision, double when you've got diabetes. This condition comes about as a result of increased pressure in the eye, resulting in damage of nerves in the eye and loss of vision.
Anyone with diabetes, type 1 or 2, are at a higher chance of developing diabetic eye disease. The risk heightens further if the diabetes is uncontrolled. Additional risks include:
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Poor diet
- Lack of exercise
- Race (Hispanics and African Americans may be more vulnerable to vision loss and diabetic retinopathy).
Symptoms of diabetic eye diseases often fluctuate with blood sugar levels, and may include:
- Blurry or distorted vision which is subject to fluctuation
- Blind spots or floaters
- Double vision
- Eye Pain
- Problems with near vision
- Corneal abrasions
It's crucial to know that diabetic eye disease can develop prior to its symptoms even being noticed.
Early detection can mean the difference between retaining and losing sight, and is often a prerequisite for avoiding subsequent deterioration of vision and recovery of sight, if possible. Because of this, diabetes patients are strongly advised to go get an annual eye exam, to make sure that everything is okay. If you or a loved one have diabetes, make sure you are informed about the risks and prevention of diabetic eye disease. Annual eye exams, and good lifestyle habits, can save your vision.