Diabetes

Diabetes eye problems

Diabetes eye problems are a collection of vision disorders that can affect diabetics. Diabetic retinopathy, diabetic macular edema, cataracts, and glaucoma are among these conditions.

Healthowealth reminds you that Diabetes can cause diabetes eye problems and it can damage your eyes over time, resulting in blurry vision or possibly blindness. On the other hand, managing your diabetes can help you avoid or delay the onset of diabetic eye disease.

The best method to keep your diabetes under control and avoid diabetes eye problems is to:

  • Control your blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels, sometimes known as the diabetes ABCs.
  • If you smoke, seek assistance in quitting.
  • once a year, have a dilated eye exam

When Diabetes eye problems or vision loss first starts, there are often no warning indications. A comprehensive, dilated eye exam allows your doctor to detect and treat eye issues early on, typically before significant vision loss occurs.

What effect does diabetes have on my vision?

When your blood glucose, commonly known as blood sugar, is too high, it damages your eyes.

In the medium term, high blood glucose is unlikely to cause eye damage. When people change their diabetes treatment plan or prescriptions, they may have a hazy vision for a few days or weeks. High blood glucose levels might alter fluid levels or induce swelling in the tissues that help you concentrate, resulting in blurred vision. This form of hazy vision is just temporary and will disappear as your blood glucose level returns to normal.

effect-of-diabetes-on-vision
Blood vessel issues are the root of the majority of significant diabetic eye disorders.

Blood glucose levels that remain high for an extended period of time might harm the small blood vessels in the back of your eyes. Prediabetes occurs when blood glucose levels become too high but not high enough to be diagnosed with diabetes. Blood vessels that have been damaged may leak fluid and produce edema. It’s also conceivable that new, frail blood vessels develop. These blood veins can flow into the eye’s center, causing scarring or dangerously high pressure inside the eye.

Blood vessel issues are the root of the majority of significant diabetic eye disorders. The four eye illnesses that might endanger your vision are as follows:

Diabetes eye problems (Diabetic retinopathy)

It is a kind of retinopathy caused by diabetes. The retina is the rear of each eye’s inner lining. The retina detects light and transforms it into information that your mind decodes, letting you see what’s going on in your environment. Diabetic retinopathy is a disorder caused by damaged blood vessels in the retina.

Blood vessels in the retina might weaken, bulge, or leak in early diabetic retinopathy. Nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy is the name for this stage.

As the condition progresses, some blood vessels collapse, causing other blood vessels to develop or proliferate on the retina’s surface. Proliferative diabetic retinopathy is the name for this stage. These abnormal new blood arteries have the potential to cause significant vision problems.

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Diabetes eye problems (Diabetic macular edema)

It is a complication of diabetes. The macula is the region of your retina that you use for reading, driving, and seeing faces. Diabetic macular edema is the swelling of the macula caused by diabetes. This condition can gradually obliterate the keen vision in this area of the eye, resulting in vision loss or blindness. Macular edema is most common in diabetic retinopathy patients who also have other symptoms.

Diabetes eye problems(Glaucoma)

A glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that damage the optic nerve, the nerve that links the eye to the brain. Glaucoma is twice as common among diabetics, and if not treated early, it can lead to visual loss and blindness.

Diabetes eye problems(Cataracts )

Cataracts are foggy formations within our eyes that help us see clearly. As we become older, our lenses tend to get clouded. Diabetics are more likely to acquire cataracts, which are clouded lenses. Diabetics are more likely than non-diabetics to acquire cataracts at an earlier age. High glucose levels, according to research, cause deposits to form in the lenses of your eyes.

What is the prevalence of Diabetes eye problems?

the prevalence of Diabetes eye problems
the prevalence of Diabetes eye problems

Diabetic retinopathy is a kind of retinopathy caused by diabetes. Diabetic retinopathy affects around one out of every three adults over the age of 40.

The most prevalent cause of visual loss in diabetics is diabetic retinopathy. The future prognosis of each individual, on the other hand, is largely determined by frequent treatment. Diabetic retinopathy may be detected and treated early, lowering the risk of blindness by 95%.

Cataracts and glaucoma

Your risks of having glaucoma or cataracts are roughly doubled compared to someone who does not have diabetes.

Who is more likely to acquire diabetic retinopathy?

Diabetes eye problems affect everybody who has diabetes. With higher risk,

  • untreated hyperglycemia
  • untreated hypertension

Diabetes eye problems can also be exacerbated by high blood cholesterol and smoking.

Some people are more vulnerable than others. African Americans, American Indians and Alaska Natives, Hispanics/Latinos, Pacific Islanders, and the elderly are more likely to lose eyesight or go blind as a result of diabetes.

If you have diabetes and get pregnant, you may experience vision difficulties quite fast. If you already have diabetic retinopathy, it is possible that it will worsen during pregnancy. Changes that assist your body to maintain a developing baby might place a strain on your heart.

It’s possible that if you already have diabetic retinopathy, it will worsen during pregnancy. Changes in your body that assist your body to maintain a developing baby may put a strain on your eyes’ blood vessels. Regular eye exams throughout pregnancy are recommended by your health care provider to detect and address issues early and safeguard your eyesight.

Gestational diabetes is a kind of diabetes that only arises during pregnancy and does not generally cause vision difficulties. Researchers are baffled as to why this is so.

The longer you have diabetes, the more likely you are to develop diabetes eye problems.

What are the signs and symptoms of diabetic retinopathy?

symptoms of diabetic retinopathy
symptoms of diabetic retinopathy

Diabetes eye problems frequently have no early signs. When damage begins to occur inside your eyes, especially with diabetic retinopathy, you may not feel any discomfort or notice any changes in your vision.

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Symptoms that may arise include:

  • eyesight that is hazy or wavy
  • Changing eyesight on a regular basis—even from day to day
  • eyesight loss or dark parts
  • color blindness
  • dark threads or spots (also called floaters)
  • Luminous bursts

Consult your eye doctor if you have any of these symptoms.

When should I make an appointment with a doctor straight away?

See a doctor right away if you notice any unusual changes in your vision, such as flashes of light or a lot more spots (floaters) than normal.

If it seems like a curtain is drawn over your eyes, you should consult a doctor straight soon. These alterations in your vision might indicate that you have a detached retina, which is a medical emergency.

How can physicians determine whether or not a patient has diabetes-related eye problems?

The best method to screen for diabetes-related eye issues is to get a comprehensive, dilated eye exam. To expand your pupils, your doctor will put drops in your eyes. Using a special magnifying lens, the doctor may check a greater region at the rear of each eye. Your sight will be blurred in a few hours after a dilated examination.

In addition, your doctor will:

  • Examine your eyesight
  • Take a reading of the pressure in your eyes

Depending on your medical history, your doctor may advise further testing.

A comprehensive eye checkup is recommended for most diabetics once a year. Depending on your kind of diabetes and how long it’s been since you were diagnosed, your doctor may recommend a different regimen.

Diabetes eye checkup recommendations:

Type 1: Within 5 years after diagnosis, yearly eye exams should begin.

Type 2: Yearly eye exams should begin as soon as the patient is diagnosed.

Pregnancy: Women with type 1 and type 2 diabetes should get an eye exam before or during the first three months of pregnancy. Your doctor may recommend that you get the exam again later in your pregnancy and until your baby is a year old.

Because diabetic eye disease does not develop during pregnancy, women who acquire gestational diabetes do not generally require an eye test. Inquire with your doctor if you have any concerns.

Doctors treat Diabetes eye problems in a variety of ways

Your doctor may advise you to get eye exams more frequently than once a year, in addition to managing your diabetes. This includes keeping track of your A1c, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels, as well as stopping smoking. Inquire with your healthcare team about what you may do to achieve your objectives.

Doctors treat Diabetes eye problems in a variety of ways
Doctors treat Diabetes eye problems in a variety of ways

Medicine for diabetes eye problems

Anti-VEGF medication, such as aflibercept, bevacizumab, or ranibizumab, may be used to treat your eyes. These drugs stop aberrant blood vessels from growing in the eyes. Anti-VEGF medications can also help treat diabetic macular edema by preventing fluid leakage.

During office visits, the doctor will inject an anti-VEGF medication into your eyes. You’ll get multiple treatments in the first several months, then fewer after the initial round of therapy is completed. Your doctor will use drugs to numb your eyes so that you don’t feel any discomfort. Human hair is around the thickness of the needle.

In some patients, anti-VEGF medications can prevent additional vision loss and even enhance eyesight.

Treatment with a laser

Laser therapy, also known as photocoagulation, uses a beam of light to generate microscopic burns inside the eye. This procedure is used to treat edema, which is characterized by leaky blood vessels and excess fluid. Your doctor would normally provide this therapy over multiple office visits, numbing your eyes with drugs. Laser therapy can help prevent vision loss or blindness by slowing the progression of eye illness. When opposed to anti-VEGF medications, however, laser therapy is less likely to restore eyesight that has already been lost.

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There are two forms of laser therapy, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH):

  • To treat diabetic macular edema, a focal/grid laser therapy targets a tiny region of the retina.
  • Scatter laser therapy, also known as pan-retinal photocoagulation (PRP), is a type of laser treatment that covers a greater region of the retina. This procedure is used to treat proliferative diabetic retinopathy, which is characterized by the formation of aberrant blood vessels.

Vitrectomy

Vitrectomy

Vitrectomy is a procedure that removes the vitreous gel, a translucent gel that fills the center of the eye. Proliferative diabetic retinopathy causes significant bleeding and scar tissue, which can be treated with this technique. Scar tissue can cause the retina to peel away from the tissue underneath it, much like wallpaper does when it peels away from a wall. A detaching or loosening of the retina might result in blindness.

A transparent salt solution is gently pushed into the eye during vitrectomy to maintain ocular pressure and replace the lost vitreous. Vitrectomy is performed at a surgery center or hospital and is accompanied by pain medication.

Surgery to Remove Cataracts from the Eyes

Your doctor can remove the hazy lens in your eye, where the cataract has formed, and replace it with an artificial lens during a surgery center or hospital visit. After cataract surgery, most people see a significant improvement in their eyesight. You may require a new prescription for your glasses when your eye recovers. Following cataract surgery, your eyesight may be affected by the treatment of diabetic retinopathy or macular edema.

What can I do to avoid diabetes eye problems?

Manage your diabetes ABCs. A1c, blood pressure, and cholesterol, and quit smoking if you smoke to avoid Diabetes eye problems or to keep it from becoming worse.

Have a dilated eye exam at least once a year, or more frequently if your eye care expert recommends it. These activities are effective strategies to safeguard your eyes’ health and even avert blindness.

The sooner you start working on managing your diabetes and other health problems, the better. Even if you’ve had trouble managing your health in the past, taking better care of yourself now can help safeguard your eyes in the future. It is never too late to get started.

What if I already have diabetes-related visual loss?

Request assistance from your eye doctor in locating a low vision and rehabilitation clinic. Vision loss that cannot be restored with glasses, contact lenses, medication, or surgery can be managed with the support of specialized eye care experts. Special gadgets and training may be able to help you make the most of your remaining vision so you may be active, pursue hobbies, visit friends and family, and live independently.

If, after reading the article “Diabetes eye problems“, you liked it and became interested in studying in other fields of health and medicine, we suggest you read the following articles from the category Diabetes on our website.

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6 Comments

  1. I read some of your recent articles on diabetes and learned new things. Now I have a question!
    My nana has had diabetes for about 15 years, so her eyesight is checked every year. At the last visit, diabetic retinoplasty was diagnosed by a doctor.
    After 6 months, my grandmother lost her sight and blurred things! Do we need to see a doctor again? Can this lead to blindness?

    1. In such cases, diabetes eye problems may lead to complete blindness. Contact your doctor as soon as possible and take the necessary measures.

  2. Plz pay attention to “Diabetes eye checkup recommendations:
    Type 1: Within 5 years after diagnosis, yearly eye exams should begin.
    Type 2: Yearly eye exams should begin as soon as the patient is diagnosed.”
    Another good article again. Your team is awesome.

    1. Thanks for the right emphasis! Unfortunately, diabetes eye problems can sometimes have irreversible consequences, and its best to be thoroughly controlled with constant care and monitoring.

  3. Diabetics are at a significant risk of developing progressive blood vessel disease, which causes diabetic neuropathy, loss of vision, renal failure, and the amputation of toes, legs, and even arms (by surgeries due to gangrene).

    1. it’s true! In addition to diabetes eye problems, all of these issues threaten the life and health of the patient.

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