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A Closer Look at Diabetic Eye Disease

Complications that arise from diabetes put sufferers at increased risk of developing a number of vision-related diseases. These conditions include cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, plus many other conditions that, even if they're seemingly unrelated to your sight, can impact the health of the eye, and your vision.

Diabetic retinopathy, which occurs as a result of high blood glucose levels causing damage to the retina. It's also a really common cause of blindness in adults.

While cataracts, which lead to vision impairment, and are a typical part of getting older, many people don't know that diabetes can lead to the early development of them.

Your odds of developing glaucoma, another condition that can seriously harm your vision, double when you suffer from diabetes. Glaucoma is characterized by optic nerve damage, and this can lead to the worsening of vision. If glaucoma goes untreated, the vision loss can be irreparable.

Anyone with diabetes, regardless of whether it is type 1 or type 2 - are at a higher risk of diabetic eye disease, even more so if their diabetes is uncontrolled. Additional risks include:

  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Duration of the disease
  • Age
  • Poor diet and lack of exercise
  • Race í studies have shown that African-Americans and Hispanics may be at higher risk of developing diabetic retinopathy and vision loss.

Symptoms of diabetic eye diseases often fluctuate with blood sugar levels, and may include:

  • Blurry or distorted vision which is subject to fluctuation
  • Blind spots or floaters
  • Double vision
  • Eye Pain
  • Development of scotoma or a shadow in the field of view
  • Problems with near vision
  • Corneal abrasions

It is really important to be aware that diabetic eye disease can develop before symptoms are apparent.

Detecting the disease before these symptoms surface can mean the difference between sight and total blindness and is often a prerequisite for avoiding further vision loss and recovery of sight. With this is mind, it is strongly advised that people with diabetes have a yearly eye exam, to be sure that everything is in check. If you suffer from diabetes, it's so important to be sure you are informed about how to prevent diabetic eye disease. Annual eye exams, coupled with proper preventative measures, can make the difference between a world of sight and a world of darkness.

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