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. Some of these include diabetic retinopathy, cataracts and glaucoma, as well as a number of other conditions that may effect your eye health.
Diabetic retinopathy, which occurs as a result of high blood glucose levels causing damage to the blood vessels in the retina, and is one of the main causes of blindness in adults in the developed world.
While cataracts, which lead to the loss of vision, and are a common part of old age, many people aren’t aware that diabetes can lead to the early development of them.
Your chances of developing glaucoma, another condition that can result in blindness, increase by fifty percent when you suffer from diabetes. This condition comes about as a result of increased pressure in the eye, resulting in optic nerve damage and vision loss.
All diabetes sufferers, type 1 or 2, are at a heightened risk of diabetic eye disease, even more so if their diabetes isn’t adequately treated. Other risks include:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Length of the disease
- Bad diet and exercise habits
- Race í studies have proven that African-Americans and Hispanics may be more susceptible to developing diabetic retinopathy and vision loss.
Due to the nature of the condition, symptoms of diabetic eye diseases often shift with blood sugar levels, and may include:
- Double vision
- Blind spots or blurry vision
- Trouble with near vision
- Corneal abrasions
It’s essential to be aware that the onset of diabetic eye disease can occur before symptoms are noticed.
Detecting the disease while it’s still asymptomatic can make all the difference when it comes to preventing irreversible vision loss. For this reason, people with diabetes are strongly encouraged to go get an annual eye exam, to be certain that everything is okay. If you suffer from diabetes, make sure you know about how to prevent diabetic eye disease. A yearly eye exam, and proper preventative measures, can make the difference between losing vision and seeing well for years to come.