Complications of diabetes put sufferers at increased risk of developing a few vision-related conditions. These conditions include glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and cataracts, plus a number of other conditions that can effect your vision.
What is diabetic retinopathy? It occurs when excess blood glucose levels cause harm to the blood vessels in the retina. It can also lead to blindness in adults.
Even though cataracts, which lead to vision impairment, and are a typical part of old age, many people aren’t aware that diabetes patients are prone to developing these at a much earlier age.
Your chances 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, which can lead to the worsening of vision. If this isn’t properly dealt with, the vision loss can be severe, and irreversible.
Anyone with diabetes, type 1 or 2, are at a heightened chance of developing diabetic eye disease, even more so if their diabetes isn’t adequately controlled. Other risks include obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, poor diet and exercise, and smoking.
Symptoms of diabetic eye diseases often change when blood sugar levels do. These often include the following:
- Blurry or distorted vision which is subject to fluctuation
- 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. The onset of diabetic eye disease can actually occur before its symptoms do.
Early detection can make a big difference when it comes to avoiding serious vision loss. For this reason, diabetes patients are strongly advised to have an annual eye exam to keep tabs on the health of their eyes. If you have diabetes, it’s so important to make sure you are informed about the risks and prevention of diabetic eye disease. Annual eye exams, and positive lifestyle habits, can make the difference between losing vision and seeing well for years to come.