Did you know that having diabetes increases the risk of developing several eye-related diseases? Often, these include glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and cataracts, as well as many other conditions that can still impact your vision.
What is diabetic retinopathy? It occurs when excess blood glucose levels cause harm to the network of blood vessels in the retina, and it's also one of the main causes of adult blindness in the developed world.
While cataracts, which lead to vision impairment, and are a common part of old age, a lot of people don't know that diabetes can lead to the early development of them.
Your odds of developing glaucoma, another condition that can lead to blindness, increase by fifty percent when you've got diabetes. Glaucoma results in optic nerve damage, and this can lead to loss of vision. If this goes untreated, the vision loss can be severe, and irreversible.
All diabetes sufferers, type 1 or 2, are at increased chance of developing diabetic eye disease, even more so if their diabetes is uncontrolled. Other risks include:
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Poor diet
- Lack of exercise
- Race (Hispanics and African Americans may be more susceptible to vision loss and diabetic retinopathy).
Due to the nature of the condition, symptoms of diabetic eye diseases usually change with blood sugar levels, and may include:
- Blurry or distorted vision that may fluctuate
- 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 before they even start to notice symptoms.
Early detection can make a big difference when it comes to avoiding serious vision loss. Because of this, diabetes patients are strongly encouraged to go get a yearly eye exam to monitor the health of their eyes. If you suffer from diabetes, it's so important to be sure you know about diabetic eye disease. Annual eye exams, coupled with proper preventative measures, can save your vision.