You may know that diabetes can harm various body organs, such as your heart, kidneys, and nerves. But are you also aware that it can damage your eyes? Diabetes can cause a group of eye problems called diabetic eye disease.
These problems can damage your vision and even lead to blindness if left untreated. Diabetes is the main reason adults between 20 and 74 years old lose sight. If you have this problem, look after your eyes and schedule regular appointments with your eye specialist.
Diabetic eye disease refers to various eye problems that diabetes can cause. These problems include:
Your retina is like a camera that captures light. High blood sugar can damage it and make it bleed, swell, or scar. This can blur or distort your vision. Sometimes, new blood vessels grow on the retina or iris, clogging the fluid flow and increasing the eye pressure. This can cause glaucoma or retinal detachment, which can irreversibly blind you.
This is a complication of diabetic retinopathy. Fluid escapes from the injured blood vessels and pools in the macula. This part of the retina lets you see clearly and in detail. This can cause blurred or distorted vision, especially when reading or driving.
This is where the eye's lens becomes cloudy, like a dirty or smudged window. This can make your vision blurry, dull, or hazy. Cataracts can affect anyone as they age, but diabetes can make them appear sooner and worsen faster. Cataracts can make your daily tasks harder and lower your quality of life.
Glaucoma is when the eye pressure gets too high, impairing the optic nerve that links the eye to the brain. This can make you lose sight or go blind if you do not treat it. Diabetes can raise your risk of getting glaucoma. Glaucoma can also worsen because of diabetic retinopathy or diabetic macular edema.
You can protect your eyes and avoid or delay diabetic eye disease by controlling your blood sugar levels. This means sticking to your diabetes treatment plan. You may need to take medications, check your blood sugar often, eat healthy foods, and stay active. It would help to watch your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, as they can harm your eyes too.
Another critical step is to get regular eye exams from an eye doctor. They can check your eyes for any signs of diabetic eye disease and treat them early before they cause serious problems.
If you have a diabetic eye disease, your doctor may recommend different treatments. Your condition's kind and severity will determine the best course of action. Some possible remedies are:
Diabetes can harm your eyes in many ways and cause serious problems. These problems can impair your vision and even blind you if you do not treat them. If you have diabetes, you need to protect your eyes and visit your eye doctor frequently. You must control your blood sugar levels and follow your doctor’s treatment plan. You can protect your eyes and prolong your vision.
For more information on how diabetes affects your eyes, visit Kopolow & Girisgen Doctors of Optometry at our Las Vegas, Nevada offices. Call (702) 452-2020 or (702) 341-7254 to schedule an appointment today.