Are you aware that having diabetes increases the risk of developing a number of eye-related conditions? These conditions include glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and cataracts, and also several other conditions that, even though they may be seemingly unrelated to your sight, can still impact the health of the eye, and your vision.
Diabetic retinopathy, which occurs when high blood glucose levels cause harm to the retina. It can also lead to blindness in adults.
A very common result of old age, cataracts, which lead to a clouding of the eye's lens, and the subsequent worsening of vision, often develop earlier in people with diabetes.
Your chances of developing glaucoma, another condition that can result in loss of vision, double when you suffer from diabetes. Glaucoma is characterized by optic nerve damage, and this can lead to loss of vision. If glaucoma goes untreated, the vision loss can be irreparable.
Anyone with diabetes, regardless of if it is type 1 or type 2 - are at a heightened chance of developing diabetic eye disease, even more so if their diabetes isn't adequately treated. Other risk factors include obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, poor diet and exercise, and smoking.
Due to the nature of the condition, symptoms of diabetic eye diseases generally change with blood sugar levels. These often include the following:
- Seeing double
- Eye pain
- Blind spots or blurry vision
- Seeing floaters, or shadow in the field of view
- Trouble with near vision
- Corneal abrasions
It is essential to note that the onset of diabetic eye disease can occur prior to its symptoms even being noticed.
Early detection can mean the difference between retaining and losing sight, and is usually central to preventing further vision loss and restoration of sight, if possible. For this reason, diabetes patients need to have a yearly eye exam to keep tabs on their eye health. If you or someone you care for has diabetes, it's so important to be sure you are informed about how to avoid diabetic eye disease. A yearly eye exam, coupled with positive lifestyle choices, can make the difference between a world of sight and a world of darkness.