Diabetes has a major short-term and long-term impacts on your vision. In fact, the high levels of blood sugar in the body can cause permanent distortion of the eyes. Studies have proven that the major cause of blindness is diabetes. It can cause vision conditions like glaucoma, blurred vision, cataract, and diabetic retinopathy. So, it is extremely crucial that you visit your optometrist on a regular basis if you suffer from diabetes.
Some major eye conditions that could arise from diabetes include:
- Diabetic retinopathy: This is a condition that makes the retinal vessels bleed or leak with fluid. This is the most common vision condition among people who suffer from diabetes. The growth of diabetic retinopathy occurs in stages – mild, moderate, severe, and advanced. Hence, it is important to detect and treat it in time as this could lead to permanent visual impediment.
- Cataract: This occurs when the protein in the lens of the eyes clumps together. This clouds the eyes and makes it difficult to view anything. This mostly occurs in older people and could start with one eye or both eyes. This also spreads from one eye to another. This if detected early, is treated with glasses and surgery is also an option.
- Glaucoma: This is a disease that damages the eye’s optic nerve. This typically occurs when there is too much eye pressure. Glaucoma if detected early, is treated with medicines and surgery.
The following are some warning signs that indicate that you should get help:
- Blurred vision
- Sudden flashes of light
- Holes or spots in vision
Detect Vision Problems by Frequent Eye Exams
People suffering from diabetes need eye exams more frequently, especially in the case of retinopathy. Studies performed by the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT) show that treating vision conditions at an early stage can prevent permanent vision loss. Those who keep their blood sugar level at a normal rate are less likely to develop a diabetic eye condition.
Dilated eye exams are also a way to detect vision issues. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends people with diabetes to get frequent dilated eye exams. An annual dilated eye exam is suggested for those to suffer from Type 1 diabetes (for over 5 years) and if you are 30 years or older. If you notice any of the above warning signs, then a dilated eye exam is a must.
Always Protect your Eyes
- Ensure to maintain glucose levels. Diabetic people should keep a close tab on the food we eat. We all are aware that a high-carb meal means an increase in blood sugar levels. If you are diabetic, this is not advised. Per the Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide, a low-carb meal can reduce the after-meal blurriness.
- Protect eyes from ultraviolet rays. Sunglasses can help you protect your eyes from the harsh glares of the sun.
- Go for annual eye exams and dilated eye exams.
- Include vitamin c in your diet and consume a lot of green leafy vegetables.
If you are concerned that diabetes is hurting your vision, schedule an appointment with an diabetes skilled optometrist at Innovations in Eyecare today. Call (360) 736-7385 to speak with us directly.