Diabetes can wreak havoc on your entire body – and of course, this includes the eyes. If you or someone you love has recently been diagnosed with diabetes, you’ll want to pay special attention to any changes in eyesight that might signal serious problems. Here are some ways that diabetes can affect your eyes and some information on when you should see your doctor immediately.
Diabetes and eye problems
High blood sugar can cause many vision problems, and diabetes is the primary cause of blindness in adults. It can increase your risk of:
1. Glaucoma, which is the result of fluid buildup in the eye. This causes pressure in the eye, which causes eye damage and affects vision.
2. Cataracts, the clouding of the eye lens. This makes it difficult for the eye to focus. Cataracts aren’t just found in people with diabetes, and in fact they are very common. However, people with diabetes may get them earlier in life than they would have otherwise, and they can very quickly become serious.
3. Blurry vision, caused by the lens swelling because of high blood sugar. This might be only temporary and might correct itself once blood sugar levels go down.
4. Retinopathy, which occurs when the blood vessels in the back of the eye (the retina) are damaged. This can cause blindness, but if blood sugar levels are kept under control, your chances of getting it are reduced.
If you have diabetes, it is important to make regular visits to your doctor and your eye doctor. See your eye doctor once a year for an exam and dilation. Let him or her know that you have diabetes so that they can help to monitor any changes in your eyes. And, if you have sudden blurred vision, black spots in your vision, or are seeing flashes of light, see a doctor immediately.
Living with diabetes can be a challenge, but having a great medical team to support you can help. The staff at Southside Eye Care is ready to help you stay healthy. Take care of yourself, and call (757) 484-0101 for an appointment today!