How does diabetes effect the eyes?

Seeing your eye doctor regularly can provide helpful insights into your overall health. Yet, it’s even more important for patients with diabetes. The eye doctors of ABBA Eye Care, wants to make sure all of their patients, and especially diabetics, are receiving routine eye care to promote overall wellness.

Diabetes is one such disease which not only affects the whole body and changes the living pattern of the patient, but also disrupts his/her whole life by making the body susceptible to various other diseases. It eats up the body from inside and damages the immune system which gives an opportunity to the microorganisms and other germs to attack the body and cause various other diseases.

When a person is affected by Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, he is more likely to have an eye problem than a normal person who does not have it. The high amount of blood sugar levels can damage the blood vessels in the eyes over time which can lead to diabetic retinopathy. Cataracts and glaucoma are also very common among diabetic patients. In order to prevent these diseases, keeping diabetes in check is the best option. Also, the doctors advise the patients to get their eyes examined annually.

DIABETIC RETINOPATHY- Nearly one out of three diabetic people suffer from this disease in which the blood vessels in the retina get damaged. It is, however, non-proliferative in nature, but if high blood sugar levels continue to persist, it may escalate to proliferative diabetic retinopathy. The new blood vessels that grow on the surface of the retina are fragile and can leak blood at even small stimulus which causes scarring of the retina and eventually long-term vision loss.

Diabetic Retinopathy may also cause macular edema in which the fluid leaks from the blood vessels into the retina and cause blurred vision. Studies have shown that a strict control over high blood sugar levels, cholesterol and blood pressure can prevent the cases of diabetic retinopathy and macular edema.

If the treatment is started on time, vision loss can be slowed and also reversed to some extent. Treating the proliferative blood vessels is done these days with the help of laser machines where the doctor targets the retina with a specialized laser device that shrinks the new blood vessels. If a treatment is performed before the new blood vessels start leaking, the treatment shows the best results. It also improves the vision and enables the patient to see things clearer.

If the condition is severe and the blood vessels have already bled, then the patient may have to undergo vitrectomy which is a process to take the damaged blood vessels out of the eyeball. These damaged blood vessels may leak fluid which affects the vision. Treatment of detached retina or damaged macula caused by the fragile blood vessels may also restore vision and enhance the recovery process.

Cataract is another disease which can commonly be found in the diabetic patients a lot. In this disease, the eye lens of the patient gets clouded and vision of the patient is hampered. Replacing the damaged eye lens with a man-made lens can improve the vision. Glaucoma is another disease where high blood sugar levels can damage the retina and the optic nerve of the eye causing serious vision problems.