Diabetes and Eyesight

Diabetes and Eyesight

There is a strong link between eyes and diabetes. While most people with diabetes experience only minor issues with their eyesight, some diabetic eye diseases can cause blindness. Hence it is important to be aware of all the conditions that can occur with diabetes.

Effect of diabetes in the eyes

Both major types of diabetes cause an abnormal increase in blood sugar levels. This imbalance causes multiple changes in the body and also affects the eyes. There is a variety of eye conditions that are caused by diabetes. The following are the most common:

Diabetic retinopathy–This is one of the most serious complication caused by diabetes and is one of the leading cause of blindness.  Diabetes retinopathy is a general term used for defects on the retina caused by diabetes. It also involves leaking or blockage of the network of blood vessels in the retina.

Diabetic maculopathy/macular edema– Macula is vital to clearly see details of objects in front of you, like faces and written text. It is the size of a pinhead through which the light enters your eyes. Diabetic maculopathy, a form of retinopathy, which affects the macula. This will make it difficult to read print or recognize faces. If the macula swells with fluid, it can cause severe vision loss and it is called macular edema.

Cataracts–Diabetes speeds up the formation of cataracts. Excess sugar levels cause water accumulation in the lens resulting in stretching of the lens.  Lens will be affected with premature discolouration over time with these small changes in the lens tissue. People with diabetes are 60% more likely to develop cataracts. They are also likely to develop the condition at a younger age with faster progression compared to those without the disease.

Glaucoma– Glaucoma is one of the causes of irreversible loss of vision due to increased pressure in the eye leading to damaged nerves. People with diabetes are more likely to develop this condition. Only a regular eye check up with screening can help in early detection of this condition. Prompt treatment can prevent vision loss.

Save your vision with a regular check-up

A routine eye-check is mandatory for everyone. But if you are affected with diabetes, it is imperative to check your eyes at regular intervals to spot abnormalities at an early stage for quick treatment and relief.

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