Do you have diabetes? If so, you are at a higher risk for developing complications with your eyesight. While long-term damage can be severe if your eye issues are untreated, watching for possible symptoms is crucial to maintaining your eye health despite your existing diagnosis.
If you keep your diabetes under control, the likelihood of your developing an eye condition decreases slightly. So be sure to regulate your blood sugar and pressure levels.
As for your eyes, what are the conditions that you need to watch out for?
Cataracts – Cataracts is characterized by a growing cloudiness in the eyes, impairing the patient from seeing clearly. Minor cases require the patient to wear sunglasses. In severe cases, doctors may remove the lens of the eye, but the patient then has a higher risk of developing additional eye conditions. According to the American Diabetes Association, diabetic individuals are 60% more likely to develop cataracts. In addition, patients are likely to develop cataracts at an early age with a higher chance for the disease to progress.
Glaucoma – Glaucoma is caused by increased pressure in the blood vessels leading to the retina and optic nerve. Eventually, the condition causes permanent damage and vision loss. Before the damage is too severe, glaucoma can be treated with medication to reduce the pressure. According to the American Diabetes Association, diabetic individuals are 40% more likely to develop glaucoma. The risk increases the longer the patient has had diabetes and as the patient ages.
Retinopathy – Diabetic retinopathy is the most common eye disease in diabetic patients and is the leading cause for adult blindness. The hardest part of diagnosing retinopathy is that there aren’t any noticeable symptoms at the early stages of the disease. Especially if you have diabetes, it’s very important to have your eyes checked regularly. Retinopathy can be detected via a dilated eye exam before symptoms even appear.
Your ophthalmologist can help you implement a plan to prevent developing an eye disease as a result of your diabetes. A quick consultation can go a long way in keeping your eyes healthy long-term. That’s the ultimate goal!