If you have diabetes, then you need to take special care when it comes to your eyesight. More than most other people, you need to make sure that you’re seeing an eye care professional on a yearly basis at minimum. Eye screenings will also be necessary to catch issues before they become a complete problem.
Let’s talk a little bit about diabetes and how it can affect eye health.About Diabetes
For those not in the know, diabetes occurs when your body doesn’t produce enough insulin, or because the insulin your body produces has a reduced effect.
Insulin is an important hormone that regulates the way your body uses the food you eat. Therefore, if you have diabetes, your body loses its ability to process sugar and other carbohydrates in normal fashion.
Diabetes usually happens later in life, but there’s a pretty clear age divide between type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes.Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes tends to occur before the age of 30. This form of diabetes happens when a body is producing little or no insulin. The resulting diabetes is then primarily controlled by insulin injections.
In stark contrast, type 2 diabetes usually happens after age 40. In this case, the body produces some insulin but it’s too little, or the body just can’t use it. Instead of insulin injections, type 2 diabetes is controlled by diet, exercise, and tablets.Diabetes and the eye
So how does diabetes affect the eye?
The main issue lies in the fact that the blood vessels that supply the retina with blood can be damaged by diabetes.
In general, changes in blood sugar levels from diabetes can affect the lens, especially if diabetes is uncontrolled. This can cause blurring vision, which comes and goes throughout the day depending on blood sugar levels. The long-term diabetes affect to the lens is cataracts. Cataracts cause the lens to go cloudy.
The most serious eye condition resulting from diabetes and affecting the eye is called diabetic retinopathy, though there are progressively worse forms of it.
To be fair, it’s pretty rare that diabetes causes an eye condition. If anything, a person affected with diabetes may experience a minor form of retinopathy. Here’s a look at the different types of retinopathy that can affect a diabetic:Diabetic Retinopathy
Diabetic retinopathy is when blood vessels in the eye can become blocked or leak. This affects the retina, which in turn can affect your vision.
Type 1 diabetics have a 40% chance of developing a form of diabetic retinopathy, where 20% of type 2 diabetics are likely to be affected.
Background diabetic retinopathy is the most common and beginning phase of diabetic retinopathy. The retinal blood vessels are mildly affected. They may bulge slightly and leak blood or fluid.
This form of retinopathy is not vision threatening as long as the macula is not affected and can be checked with a retinal screening test.
Proliferatie diabetic retinopathy is the next progression of diabetic retinopathy, where the blood vessels become blocked. The retina becomes starved of oxygen. The body tries to repair the damage, which causes new blood vessels to grow. Unfortunately, the new vessels are weak and grow in the wrong place – the surface of the retina into the vitreous gel.
The new blood vessels bleed easily and cause large hemorrhages that can obscure vision. If you’re lucky, blood may be reabsorbed. Others may not be so lucky, and these issues could lead to permanent vision loss. Unfortunately, excessive hemorrhages lead to scar tissue, which can pull and distort the retina.
This can cause a detached retina and advanced sight loss.
If you’re a diabetic, there’s a 5-10% chance you’ll develop this problem. It’s more common in type 1 diabetes than type 2.
Diabetic maculopathy is where the macula is affected, which than affects the central vision. People affected by this condition find it hard to see details, like reading small print. Interestingly, peripheral vision is not affected.
Diabetic maculopathy can be treated with a laser or injections. Improvements may be seen, but its primary goal is to stop eyesight from getting worse.
It’s certainly helpful to know the different problems associated with eye health if you’re a diabetic. It’s also a good idea to be proactive, and to take supplements to keep your eyes healthy to help prevent these problems from happening in the first place. Norflo and Ialutec are two eye health supplements that promote healthy eyes.
Have you suffered from any of these eye health conditions?