Eye Health: The Connection Between Diabetes and Eye Disease
- Posted on: Apr 19 2011
Did you know that one of the leading causes of blindness in adults aged
20-74 is Diabetes? As a diabetic, paying close attention to your eyesight
is crucial, and regular eye exams can help prevent or detect problems
early before irreversible blindness occurs. When you have diabetes,eye healthshould be a top concern.
The threat of
eye disease and changes in vision grow when your blood sugar becomes too high for your
body to regulate. High blood sugar causes the lenses of the eye to swell,
which can inhibit clear vision. The swelling of the eye lenses may take
days, or even months to control your blood sugar enough for your sight
to return to normal. Sometimes controlling blood sugar is all that it
takes, while other times, the eye problems are more serious in nature.
The eye diseases that can occur in someone with diabetes include cataracts,
glaucoma, and retinopathy. Each of these diseases is serious in nature,
but each can be prevented with regular eye examinations and good control
of blood sugars.
Cataracts: Cataract is the clouding of the lens of the eye that is normally clear.
When you develop cataracts with diabetes, your eye cannot focus light,
which results in vision being impaired. To treat this, surgery and lens
implants are often necessary, while glasses or contact lenses may be used
to correct vision even further.
Glaucoma: Glaucoma results when fluid in the eye does not drain properly, which causes
a buildup of pressure in the eye. This excess pressure damages the nerves
and vessels and leads to irreversible loss of vision. Glaucoma treatments
include special eye drops, medicines, and even
Retinopathy: This is a vascular complication related to diabetes that results in damage
to the blood vessels in the retina. The blood vessels in the back of the
eye begin to leak, which can eventually lead to retinal blindness. Retinopathy
can be treated with diabetic eye surgery.
Although diabetic eye problems are relatively common, there are things
that you can do to help lower the risks and prevent problems from developing.
It is important to have an annual eye exam to help detect any problems
early on; if you are considering getting pregnant, it is a good idea to
have an eye exam beforehand. It is also essential to control your blood
sugar and your blood pressure because both of these can trigger vision
problems related to diabetes.
Set up an appointment to have your eyes checked today and contact a trusted
surgeon or ophthalmologist with any questions or concerns that you might have.