There is a strong connection between diabetes and the health of your eyes. Learn more about common eye conditions that may be affected by diabetes.
Diabetes weakens your immune system, which means you can be more prone to eye infections. Wash your hands frequently, avoid touching your eyes, and replace makeup often to prevent infections.
Glaucoma is caused by a buildup of pressure inside the eye. The extra pressure pinches blood vessels that are supposed to be carrying blood and nutrients to the retina and optic nerve. Over time the retina and nerve are damaged and vision can be lost.
According to the American Diabetes Association, people with diabetes are 40% more likely to suffer from diabetes, so it is important to visit your eye doctor for regular checkups if you are diabetic. There are various glaucoma treatments available, depending on the severity of the situation.
Cataracts is a condition that clouds the eye’s natural lens causing vision to become worse and worse over time. People with diabetes are 60% more likely to develop cataracts. In some cases the lens can be surgically removed and replaced to correct the problem, but this is riskier in diabetic patients.
Diabetic retinopathy is a term to encompass all the disorders of the retina that are caused by diabetes. The retina is the sensory membrane inside your eye that receives images from the lens. The two most common types of retinopathy are non-proliferative retinopathy and proliferative retinopathy.
Non-proliferative retinopathy is more common and occurs when blood vessels become blocked. This type of retinopathy progresses as more blood vessels get blocked off.
Proliferative retinopathy occurs when blood vessels close off. At this point, new blood vessels start growing in the retina, but these blood vessels leak and blood clouds the vision. These new blood vessels can also cause scar tissue to grow.
The best way to protect your eyes, especially if you are diabetic, is to visit your doctor and optometrist often. Follow the instructions you are given to manage your weight, keep your blood sugar stable, and protect your eyes. Visit Roholt Vision to learn more.