Diabetes is a complicated condition which can effect you in many ways. 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, plus many other conditions that, even if they're seemingly unrelated to your sight, can still worsen your vision.
What is diabetic retinopathy? It occurs as a result of high blood glucose levels causing harm to the retina, and is one of the most common causes of adult blindness in North America.
Cataracts, which are fairly common in old age, and which lead to vision impairment due to the clouding of the eyeí´s lens, usually develop sooner in diabetes sufferers.
People with diabetes have double the chance of developing glaucoma, which is can result in blindness. Glaucoma results in optic nerve damage, and this can lead to loss of vision. If it isn't properly dealt with, the vision loss can be severe, and irreversible.
All diabetes sufferers, type 1 or 2, are at a higher risk of diabetic eye disease, even more so if their diabetes isn't adequately dealt with. Other risks include obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, poor diet and exercise, and smoking.
Symptoms of diabetic eye diseases often change with blood sugar levels, and may include:
- Seeing double
- Blind spots or blurry vision
- Seeing floaters, or shadow in the field of view
- Trouble with near vision
- Corneal abrasions
Unfortunately, these symptoms don't really act as warning signs. The onset of diabetic eye disease can actually occur before its symptoms do.
Early detection can often mean the difference between sight and total blindness and is usually a prerequisite for preventing subsequent vision loss and recovery of sight, if possible. With this is mind, it is strongly advised that people with diabetes have a yearly eye exam to keep tabs on their eye health. If you have diabetes, it's so important to make sure you know about diabetic eye disease. Annual eye exams, coupled with good lifestyle habits, can make the difference between losing vision and seeing well for years to come.