Are you aware that being a diabetes sufferer heightens your chances of developing several eye-related diseases? These conditions include diabetic retinopathy, cataracts and glaucoma, as well as many other conditions that may effect your vision.
Diabetic retinopathy, which occurs as a result of high blood glucose levels causing damage to the retina, and it's also one of the main causes of adult blindness in the developed world.
While cataracts, which lead to the loss of vision, and are a typical result of aging, a lot of people don't know that diabetes patients are prone to developing these at a much younger age.
Your odds of developing glaucoma, another condition that can seriously deplete your vision, double when you suffer from diabetes. Glaucoma is characterized by optic nerve damage, which can lead to the worsening of vision. If glaucoma isn't properly dealt with, the vision loss can lead to blindness.
All diabetes sufferers - if it is type 1 or type 2 - are at increased chance of developing diabetic eye disease, even more so if their diabetes isn't properly controlled. Additional risks include:
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Poor diet
- Lack of exercise
- Race í studies have shown that African-Americans and Hispanics may be at higher risk of developing diabetic retinopathy and vision loss.
Symptoms of diabetic eye diseases often shift when blood sugar levels do, and may include:
- Double vision
- Eye pain
- Blurred vision and blind spots
- Trouble with near vision
- Corneal abrasions
Unfortunately, these symptoms don't really act as warning signs. At patient can develop diabetic eye disease before they even begin to detect symptoms.
Early detection can often mean the difference between sight and total blindness and is usually central to preventing subsequent loss of vision and recovery of sight. For this reason, diabetes patients need to have an annual eye exam to monitor the health of their eyes. If you suffer from diabetes, make sure you know about the risks and prevention of diabetic eye disease. A yearly eye exam, coupled with positive lifestyle habits, can make the difference between a world of sight and a world of darkness.