You may have heard that diabetes can be a contributing factor in the development of some eye problems and in severe situations may even lead to blindness. However, if you take steps to properly care for your eyes and attend your regular appointments with our experienced and knowledgeable team, this doesn’t have to be the case. In fact, while people who have diabetes do have an increased risk of experiencing serious eye problems, plenty of people with diabetes experience little to minor vision inconveniences that are easily resolved.
This month is American Diabetes Month, and as always, we are committed to keeping our patient's eyes healthy and vision clear. Here is what you should know about how diabetes can affect your vision, and what we can do to help.
As we know, having diabetes does increase your risk of developing certain eye diseases. These include the following.
Glaucoma is a condition characterized by the accumulation of pressure inside the eye. This pressure damages the blood vessels that carry blood to the optic nerve and retina, and this can result in vision problems. There are two types of glaucoma, with the most common developing slowly and symptoms appearing gradually. However, both types of glaucoma can lead to irreversible vision loss.
Patients with diabetes are more likely to suffer from glaucoma, and the longer they have had the condition, the greater their risk of glaucoma is. Age is also a risk factor in the development of glaucoma.
Cataracts occur when the proteins in your eyes begin to clump together, causing clouds in your vision. Cataracts tend to develop slowly, and it can take a while for you to notice that your vision is affected. Many people state that it starts to seem as though they are constantly looking through frosted glass.
Cataracts are a fairly common condition across all varieties of patients, but if you suffer from diabetes, studies have shown that you are more likely to develop cataracts. Although cataracts are typically associated with older people, patients with diabetes can develop them when they are younger, and the condition can progress more quickly.
Diabetic retinopathy is a term used to describe all eye diseases that affect the retina and are caused by diabetes. These involve damage to the blood vessels that serve the retina and optic nerve and cause leaking, scarring, and more advanced issues to occur.
The good news is that it is possible to avoid eye diseases associated with diabetes. Ideally, keeping your diabetes under control will significantly reduce the likelihood of you developing any of these conditions. However, there is also another very valuable resource- visits to see an eye care professional. Here at Family Eye Care Centers, we understand just how important the health of your eyes is to you. This is why we recommend regular visits to our offices so that we can carefully monitor both your ocular health and the quality of your vision. By spotting developing issues early on, our professional and dedicated team can give you all of the help and support that you need to maintain excellent eye health and great quality vision into the future.
To schedule an appointment with us, please contact one of our conveniently located eye care centers today.