Diabetes is a complex disease which can effect you in a number of ways. A lot of people don't know that it can put you at risk of developing several eye-related diseases. Often, these include cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, plus several other conditions that can impact your eye health.
Diabetic retinopathy, which occurs due to high blood glucose levels causing damage to the blood vessels in the retina, and is one of the leading causes of adult blindness in North America.
Even though cataracts, which lead to the loss of vision, and are a common part of aging, a lot of people don't know that diabetes patients are prone to developing these at an earlier age.
People with diabetes are twice as likely to develop glaucoma, which is can lead to blindness. This disease is categorized by optic nerve damage, which can lead to the worsening of vision. If it goes untreated, the vision loss can lead to blindness.
All diabetes sufferers, and it doesn't matter whether it is type 1 or type 2 – are at increased risk of diabetic eye disease. The risk is even higher if the diabetes isn't properly controlled. Other risk factors include obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, poor diet and exercise, and smoking.
Symptoms of diabetic eye diseases usually shift when blood sugar levels do. These generally include:
- Blurry or distorted vision which is subject to fluctuation
- Blind spots or floaters
- Double vision
- Eye Pain
- Problems with near vision
- Corneal abrasions
It's really important to be aware that the onset of diabetic eye disease can occur prior to its symptoms even being noticed.
Detecting the condition while it's still asymptomatic can mean the difference between sight and total blindness and is often central to preventing further vision loss and restoration of sight. Because of this, it is strongly advised that people with diabetes go get an annual eye exam, to make sure that everything is okay. If you have diabetes, it's so important to make sure you are informed about how to prevent diabetic eye disease. Annual eye exams, and good lifestyle choices, can save your vision.