If you have diabetes, you know that managing your blood sugar levels and taking care of your overall health is crucial, but did you know that this condition can also affect your eyesight?
High blood sugar levels damage the tiny blood vessels in your retina, the light-sensitive part of your eye responsible for sending visual information to your brain. That’s why people with diabetes are at a higher risk of developing several eye diseases, including glaucoma, cataracts, and diabetic retinopathy.
Some diabetes-related eye conditions are more prevalent than others. These are the top three we see in patients with diabetes.
Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that damage your optic nerve, which is responsible for transmitting visual information from your eye to your brain. People with diabetes are twice as likely to develop glaucoma than those without this chronic health condition.
Cataracts occur when your eye's natural lens becomes cloudy, leading to blurry vision. While cataracts are a common eye problem in older adults, people with diabetes are at a higher risk of developing them at a younger age.
Diabetic retinopathy occurs when high blood sugar levels damage the blood vessels in your retina. This can lead to vision loss and, in severe cases, blindness. Over time, diabetic retinopathy can worsen and progress to a more advanced stage known as proliferative retinopathy.
Apart from the top three eye diseases, people with diabetes can also develop other eye problems.
This condition affects the macula, the central part of your retina that’s responsible for sharp, detailed vision. Maculopathy can cause blurry or distorted vision, making it difficult to read, drive, or recognize faces.
This advanced stage of diabetic retinopathy occurs when abnormal blood vessels grow on your retina's surface. These new blood vessels can leak blood and other fluids into your eye, causing vision loss and blindness.
High blood sugar levels can cause the lens in your eye to swell, leading to blurred vision. This condition can occur in people with both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.
If you have diabetes, monitor your eye health regularly and look out for symptoms such as:
If you experience any of these symptoms, they could point to diabetes-related eye disease, so schedule an appointment with Dr. Barnes immediately.
Early diagnosis and treatment are crucial in managing diabetes-related eye problems. Depending on the severity of your condition, Dr. Barnes may recommend treatments such as:
Although diabetes can significantly affect your eye health, regular eye exams and proper diabetes management can help prevent or delay vision loss. If you have diabetes, call or click to schedule an appointment at Vision Corner in Houston to keep your eyes healthy and your vision sharp.