Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in adults aged 20-74, increasing the importance of regular visits to an ophthalmologist for diabetics. Diabetes increases your risk for several vision problems, and early detection can prevent, or seriously reduce your risk for permanent vision impairment.
Increased Instances of Disease
Diabetics are more likely to suffer from three major eye diseases. These are:
Cataracts. When major fluctuations in blood sugar can cause the lens of the eye to swell, resulting in cataracts, or a clouding of the lens of the eye.
Glaucoma. High blood sugar can damage the cells of the eye that allow fluid out. When these calls are damaged, it can lead to glaucoma, in which pressure in the eye damages the optic nerve.
Diabetic retinopathy. When high blood sugar damages the capillaries in the eye, they can swell up, close off, or leak fluid. Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness in diabetics, leading to blurry vision, and eventual loss of sight.
The risks of these vision problems are directly linked to your blood sugar level. Keeping your blood sugar under control, and visiting an eye doctor on a regular basis are essential to helping reduce their severity.
Types of Diabetic Retinopathy
There are three types of diabetic retinopathy:
Background retinopathy causes no vision problems, but if left undetected, can lead to a more severe type of retinopathy
Maculopathy occurs in the macula and can be a caused by background retinopathy going untreated
Proliferative retinopathy is caused by new blood vessels developing that do not have significant oxygen to perform their vital functions
If discovered early enough, your ophthalmologist will be able to treat retinopathy and prevent complete blindness from occurring.
Treatment of Diabetic Retinopathy
Treatment for diabetic patients with increasing vision problems may include:
If you have diabetes, blurred or distorted vision could be a sign of larger vision problems. Waiting to see a doctor, or simply purchasing a new pair of glasses could lead to complications and untreatable outcomes.
If you are diabetic, please visit the website of Eyes.com to look over our information on diabetic eye care, and to locate an experienced ophthalmologist in your area to treat, and help prevent debilitating vision problems.