Complications arising from diabetes can put sufferers at increased risk of developing a few eye-related conditions. These conditions include diabetic retinopathy, cataracts and glaucoma, as well as a number of other conditions that, even when seemingly unrelated to your sight, can still worsen your eye health.
What is diabetic retinopathy? It occurs due to high blood glucose levels causing harm to the blood vessels in the retina. It's also a very common cause of blindness in adults.
Even though cataracts, which lead to vision impairment, and are a typical part of aging, a lot of people don't know that diabetes can lead to the early development of them.
Diabetes sufferers have double the chance of developing glaucoma, which is a serious, sight-threatening condition. This condition results from increased pressure in the eye, leading to optic nerve damage and vision loss.
All diabetes sufferers, type 1 or 2, are at a higher risk of 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 usually vary 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. At patient can develop diabetic eye disease well before they start to notice symptoms.
Detecting the disease while it's still asymptomatic can mean the difference between retaining and losing sight, and is usually a prerequisite for avoiding further deterioration of vision and recovery of sight, if possible. For this reason, diabetes patients need to go get a yearly eye exam, to be sure that everything is okay. If you or someone you care for has diabetes, make sure you know about how to avoid diabetic eye disease. Annual eye exams, coupled with good lifestyle choices, can make the difference between losing vision and seeing well for years to come.