Although most people are familiar with diabetes, fewer are aware of the impact it can have on your eyesight. The raised blood sugar levels associated with diabetes are a risk to your eyes in a couple of ways.
The risk of eye damage is increased when diabetes is not treated. Diabetic eye disease can come in a few different ways.
The most common diabetic eye disease is one that results in damage to the blood vessels that lead to the retina. This is called diabetic retinopathy and is a leading cause of vision loss in adults.
Located at the back of the eye, the retina is essential for proper vision. Damage to the retina can result in permanent blindness. While controlling diabetes can reduce the chances of developing diabetic retinopathy, it does not entirely eliminate the risk and this is why it is essential to have your eyes checked yearly if you have diabetes.
Glucose levels that fluctuate periodically can also impact eyesight. Due to the fact that blood sugar levels have an impact on the ability of your lens to maintain sharp focus, this can result in blurred vision that changes with blood sugar levels.
Cataracts occur when the lens of the eye becomes clouded and can also develop in diabetics. Even though cataracts are common in people over a certain age, the likelihood of developing cataracts at a younger age is increased in diabetics.
Glaucoma, which is a result of elevated interoptic fluid pressure, can lead to blindness. People with diabetes are twice as likely to develop glaucoma.
Controlling your diabetes is the best form of prevention for any of the diabetic eye diseases. As well as maintaining proper levels of glucose through proper nutrition and/or insulin, exercise and refraining from smoking can help. Since eye damage is often not noticeable until damage has occurred it is critical to schedule yearly retinal exams with an eye doctor to find any developing problems at the earliest stages. Even though often vision loss that results from any of these conditions cannot be reversed, further damage can be slowed by early detection.