Unfortunately, diabetes is all too common. So many people aren't aware of how just much it can affect patients. For example, diabetes can easily lead to developing a number of eye-related diseases. These conditions include cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, as well as a number of other conditions that, even though they may be seemingly unrelated to your sight, may effect the health of the eye, and your vision.
Diabetic retinopathy, which occurs when high blood glucose levels cause damage to the network of blood vessels in the retina. It's also a very common cause of blindness in adults.
Even though cataracts, which lead to the loss of vision, and are a common part of old age, a lot of people aren't aware that diabetes patients are likely to develop these at an younger age.
People with diabetes are twice as likely to develop glaucoma, sometimes referred to as the silent thief of sight, which is can lead to vision impairment. This condition forms due to a build-up of pressure in the eye, leading to optic nerve damage and vision loss.
All individuals with diabetes - whether it is type 1 or type 2 - are at increased chance of developing diabetic eye disease, even more so if their diabetes isn't adequately controlled. Additional risk factors include obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, poor diet and exercise, and smoking.
Due to the nature of the condition, symptoms of diabetic eye diseases generally shift when blood sugar levels do, and may include:
- Blurry or distorted vision which is subject to fluctuation
- Blind spots or floaters
- Double vision
- Eye Pain
- Problems with near vision
- Corneal abrasions
Unfortunately, these symptoms are more than warning signs. The onset of diabetic eye disease can actually occur before its symptoms do.
Detecting the condition before these symptoms surface can make a big difference when it comes to preventing serious loss of vision. With this is mind, it is strongly advised that diabetes sufferers have a yearly eye exam to monitor the health of their eyes. If you or a loved one have diabetes, it's so important to make sure you know about how to avoid diabetic eye disease. Annual eye exams, and proper preventative measures, can make the difference between a world of sight and a world of darkness.