Diabetes is a medical condition that has impacted millions of people worldwide over the years. Research shows that one in every four people above the age of 65 is affected by this disease. While symptoms of diabetes such as excessive urination, weight loss, and exhaustion are commonly known, what might come as a surprise to you is the massive impact that this disease can have on your eye health.
Today we’re discussing some of the main ways in which diabetes can affect your eye health. But first, let’s take a look at what exactly causes diabetes and who’s at risk of getting this disease.
Diabetes: a brief overview
Diabetes is typically caused when a person has a high level of blood glucose. Blood glucose is one of the primary sources of energy that you get from consuming food. Your pancreas stimulates a hormone known as insulin which converts this glucose into energy that you can use throughout your day. The problem arises when your body fails to produce a sufficient amount of insulin to create this energy.
Who’s at risk?
- Those with family members who have diabetes
- Those who are overweight
- Those who are physically inactive
- Those who have prediabetes
How does diabetes affect your eye health?
One of the most common ways diabetes can impact your eye health is by causing your vision to blur. If you have high blood sugar, the lens inside your eyes often tends to swell. This can often result in temporarily blurring your eyesight.
The retina is a layer of tissue responsible for perceiving images and sending the information to your brain, allowing you to see correctly. People with high blood sugar levels often experience damage to the blood vessels in their retina, hence, causing diabetic retinopathy. This can cause scarring, clotting, and even vision loss if the condition is not treated correctly on time.
When your eye lens gets cloudy, and you can’t see properly, there’s a high chance you have cataracts. While cataracts can affect virtually anyone, people with diabetes have a higher chance of getting them earlier. If you experience any change in your vision, instead of getting a new pair of prescription glasses immediately, make sure you first discuss this change with your optometrist.
Glaucoma is an eye condition that is one of the primary causes of blindness in senior citizens. It occurs when an abnormally high level of pressure in your eyes causes damage to your optic nerves and blood vessels, resulting in changes in your vision. If you have diabetes, you’re at an increased risk of getting rarer versions of this disease which can create new blood vessels on your iris and block the flow of your eye fluids.
A final word
If you’re someone who has diabetes and is concerned about the state of your eye health, we highly recommend that you seek professional help. If you reside within Texas, you can visit our clinics in The Woodlands, Spring, and Houston. We are looking forward to seeing you there!