Diabetes is a complex 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. These conditions include glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and cataracts, as well as a number of other conditions that can still impact your vision.
What is diabetic retinopathy? It occurs as a result of high blood glucose levels causing harm to the blood vessels in the retina. It can also lead to blindness in adults.
A very common result of aging, cataracts, which lead to a clouding of the eye's lens, and the subsequent worsening of vision, tend to develop earlier in people with diabetes.
Diabetes sufferers are double as likely to develop glaucoma, which is a serious, sight-threatening condition. Glaucoma develops due to increased pressure in the eye, leading to damage of nerves in the eye and vision loss.
Anyone with diabetes, type 1 or 2, are at increased chance of developing diabetic eye disease, even more so if their diabetes is uncontrolled. Other risks include obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, poor diet and exercise, and smoking.
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
- Development of scotoma or a shadow in the field of view
- Problems with near vision
- Corneal abrasions
Unfortunately, these symptoms are more than warning signs. The onset of diabetic eye disease can actually occur before its symptoms do.
Early detection can make a big difference when it comes to preventing serious deterioration of vision. With this is mind, diabetes patients need to have a yearly eye exam to monitor their eye health. If you suffer from diabetes, make sure you know about the risks and prevention of diabetic eye disease. A yearly eye exam, coupled with proper preventative measures, can make the difference between losing vision and seeing well for years to come.