VisionFirst has built a reputation on providing their patients with the best-personalized eye care for the health of their eyes. Since November is National Diabetes month, we felt it was a perfect time to discuss the ways in which diabetes can affect your vision.
We have covered other health topics in the past, like how Lyme disease affects eye health and even 10 health risks that can be detected during a routine eye exam. What most people don’t realize though is that diabetes affects nearly 30 million people in the US and nearly 1 in 4 people don’t even know they have it?
Stay On Top of Your Eye Health
If you have Type 1 diabetes or Type 2 diabetes, you should be ready to see your eye doctor at least twice a year. When you have high blood sugar, it can result in several problems related to your eyes. Diabetes is also the primary cause of blindness in adults between the ages of 20 and 74.
There are several problems that diabetes can cause with vision, beyond blindness. Here are three common occurrences.
1. Blurry Vision
If you notice that your vision is getting blurry and have diabetes, glasses might not be the solution to the problem. Your blurry vision could be due to high blood sugar. To get your vision back to normal, you will need to get your blood sugar back on track. Once you have your diabetes under control, it can take up to three months for your vision to fully return to normal.
Cataracts occur when the lens in your eye gets cloudy. Many people who have had cataracts compare it to looking out of a cloudy window. Anyone can develop cataracts, and it is usually later on in life. If you have diabetes, they can occur earlier than normal and the problem will progress much faster. To treat the problem, typically surgery is required in order to replace the dirty lens with an artificial one.
3. Diabetic Retinopathy
The retina in your eye is a group of cells located in the back that receive the light. The retina turns the light into images so that the optic nerve can send it to your brain. High blood sugar levels caused by diabetes can cause damage to the tiny blood vessels in your retina. This is called diabetic retinopathy. If this is left untreated, you can eventually go blind. It is very important to keep your diabetes under control to keep from developing this condition. People with Type 1 diabetes rarely develop this condition before their teens. If you keep up with your insulin regimen, you should be able to keep from developing this condition. People with Type 2 diabetes tend to develop this condition more often. It is most common in diabetics who don’t control their blood sugar, who have high blood pressure, and who smoke.
Next Steps to Take
Diabetes can cause many health complications. This is especially true when it comes to your eyes. If you have diabetes, it is important to keep your condition under control to prevent any permanent damage to your eyes. Talk with your physician and eye doctor for more information.
If diabetes are a part of your family history, it’s even more reason to monitor for early signs, some that are showcased in your eyes. Early detection is a powerful key!
If you’ve put off a routine eye exam for too long, especially if you have diabetes, now is the time to schedule your comprehensive eye exam at one of our many convenient VisionFirst locations. If you are already facing eye concerns as a result of diabetes, just know you are not alone. And there are resources to help you in managing those concerns. Our doctors have experience caring for diabetic patients. We want to support you in that health journey!