If you or a loved one has diabetes, you have likely heard that vision can be affected by the disease. That’s why regular visits to the eye doctor are imperative to stay on top of any new developments.
Diabetic eye disease is made up of a group of eye conditions that affect people with diabetes, including diabetic retinopathy, diabetic macular edema (DME), cataracts and glaucoma, with many diabetic eye diseases having the potential to result in vision loss and blindness, according to the National Eye Institute. High blood sugar often manifests itself in blurry vision and is actually the primary cause of blindness in adults between the ages of 20 and 74, says WebMD.
Before you go out and buy new glasses or contacts due to blurred vision, see your eye doctor. That blurriness you’re seeing could be due to high blood sugar caused by your diabetes, which in turn compromises your ability to see clearly. You’ll need to get your sugar levels back into the target range under direction of a doctor, which could take up to three months to return to normal.
While anyone can get cataracts as they age, diabetics tend to get them earlier than others and they worsen at a more rapid rate. From blurred vision to glare, cataracts can cloud your vision, which can be remedied through surgery. Your doctor will replace the old lens with a new one so you can see more clearly.
When pressure builds up in the eye, the fluid can’t drain out like it normally would, damaging nerves and blood vessels. As a result, your vision is affected. Medication can lower pressure and ensure drainage. Your eye doctor should catch this during an annual exam, but if you are having problems, make an appointment, especially if you are a diabetic. You may experience blurred vision, eye aches, headaches, halos forming around bright lights, and even vision loss. Treatment includes medicine, eye drops and surgery.
The retina makes the images that the optic nerve sends to the brain for processing. When the small blood vessels are damaged, this leads to diabetic retinopathy, which is related to high levels of blood sugar. Early treatment is imperative to avoid going blind. The longer you have diabetes, the higher your risk to get diabetic retinopathy. Those with type 1 diabetes may develop it after five or more years of diagnosis. But if you stay in control of your blood sugar by taking insulin daily, you lower your risk for diabetic retinopathy. Those with type 2 diabetes often have symptoms of eye problems right at diagnosis. Again, it’s important to control blood sugar, blood pressure and even cholesterol to prevent this disease.
Early treatment is critical for all of the above conditions. Make your appointment with Simon Eye Associates today at 302-239-1933 or complete our online form. We have several convenient locations throughout Delaware.