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Diabetes and Eyesight

Diabetes and Eyesight

Diabetes is a disease that affects the way we process food for energy and growth. With all forms of diabetes—type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes—the body has trouble converting sugar in the blood into energy, resulting in a host of potential health problems.

Diabetes increases the likelihood that certain vision problems or eye diseases might occur:

  • Diabetics are prone to developing cataracts (a clouding of the lens inside the eye) at an earlier age.
  • People with diabetes are more likely to develop glaucoma, an eye disorder that damages the optic nerve often marked by an increase of internal eye pressure.
  • Macular edema (and macular degeneration) are more common in diabetics due to malfunctioning blood vessels in the middle region of the retina responsible for central, sharp vision.
  • Poor sugar control can cause fluctuations in the vision due to swelling of the lens inside the eye; this results in an unstable glasses prescription.
  • Most notably, diabetes can result in diabetic retinopathy; an eye disease that affects the blood vessels in the all-important retina (lining of the eye).

That’s why there’s no separating diabetes and the eyes.

Diabetes Statistics

Diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness among adults ages 20 to 74.

Diabetic Retinopathy

  • Overview of Diabetic Retinopathy
    When your blood sugar gets too high, it can damage the blood vessels in your eyes. This damage may lead to diabetic retinopathy-a condition where blood and fluid leak out of the blood vessels in the retina and lead to scar tissue. The longer someone has diabetes, the more likely they are to have retinopathy (damage to the retina) from the disease.

    • Treatment for Diabetic Retinopathy
      • Controlling blood sugar
      • Laser treatments to the retinal blood vessels
      • Injections of medication that helps the blood/fluid reabsorb