Diabetes is a complicated disease which can lead to a multitude of health problems. Many people aren’t aware of how it can put you at risk of developing a few eye-related diseases. Some of these include cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, plus many other conditions that can effect the health of the eye, and your vision.
Diabetic retinopathy, which occurs due to high blood glucose levels causing harm to the retina. It’s also a really common cause of blindness in adults.
A pretty natural result of old age, cataracts, which cause a clouding of the eye’s lens, and the subsequent worsening of vision, tend to develop at an earlier age in diabetes sufferers.
Diabetes sufferers have double the odds of developing glaucoma, which is a serious, sight-threatening condition. Glaucoma results in optic nerve damage, which can lead to the worsening of vision. If this isn’t properly dealt with, the vision loss can lead to blindness.
Anyone with diabetes, and it doesn’t matter if it is type 1 or type 2 – are at a heightened chance of developing diabetic eye disease, even more so if their diabetes is uncontrolled. Other risk factors include:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Length of the disease
- Bad diet and lack of exercise
- Race í research has shown that African-Americans and Hispanics may be vulnerable to developing diabetic retinopathy and vision loss.
Symptoms of diabetic eye diseases usually shift when blood sugar levels do. These often include the following:
- 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.
Detecting the condition while it’s still asymptomatic can often mean the difference between retaining and losing sight, and is often central to preventing further loss of vision and restoration of sight. Because of this, diabetes patients are strongly advised to have an annual eye exam to monitor the health of their eyes. If you or someone you care for has diabetes, make sure you are educated about how to prevent diabetic eye disease. A yearly eye exam, and proper preventative measures, can save your vision.