This is How Diabetes can Affect the Eyes

  • Posted on: Nov 30 2020
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Diabetes is a prevalent condition that affects millions of people in our country. It is a complex disease that can impact every part of the body, including the eyes. Eyecare is especially important for people with diabetes because this condition can cause changes in the tiny blood vessels in the eyes. An ophthalmologist can monitor and treat these changes to reduce the risks of severe vision impairment. It is important for diabetics to see an ophthalmologist regularly for comprehensive eye exams. Here, we discuss why.

Diabetic Eye Disease

Diabetic eye disease can manifest in a few common ways. Dysregulated blood sugar increases the risk of developing the following eye condition, all of which are categorized as types of diabetic eye disease.

  • Blurry vision. Blurred vision may sound relatively benign, but this visual change can interfere with a person’s ability to perform their normal daily activities. One of the reasons that blurring can occur secondary to diabetes is because the lens of the eye can swell in response to high blood sugar. Studies suggest that this problem may resolve over a few months if blood sugar is brought under control and actively maintained.
  • This eye disease involves an increase in intraocular pressure. The healthy eye maintains a consistent pressure to support anterior and posterior structures. When pressure increases, the optic nerve is compressed. Without relief from compression, the optic nerve can be irreparably damaged.
  • This disease fortunately does not typically occur quickly. When a person develops cataracts, their vision becomes progressively more clouded as a result of protein buildup on the eye’s lens. Cataracts can form in one or both eyes. If clouding prevents one from performing normal activities, a minor surgical procedure can be performed to replace the clouded lens with a clear artificial lens.
  • Diabetic retinopathy. Retinopathy is a disease that involves changes in the blood vessels in the eyes. The longer that a person has diabetes, the greater their risk for developing diabetic retinopathy. This risk increases the more that blood sugar levels fluctuate, as well, so it is vitally important to manage glucose well.

Ophthalmologists have extensive education to identify patients’ risks for various conditions. With routine eye exams, these conditions can be identified early and managed consistently so vision can be preserved as long. Our doctors are here to help you address your risks for diabetic eye disease. To schedule your consultation, contact our Canfield, Alliance, or North Canton office.

Posted in: Diabetic Eye Care

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