Diabetes is a systemic disease with ocular manifestations, such as diabetic retinopathy and macular edema. In the United States, over 100 million adults are living with diabetes or prediabetes. These people are more prone to developing different eye problems that can cause poor eyesight and even vision loss.
As part of the Diabetes Eye Disease Month, Lifetime Vision Source, your local eye center, discusses how diabetes can impair your eyesight.
High blood sugar levels can clog the tiny blood vessels that provide nourishment to the retina, cutting off its blood supply. The eye then attempts to grow new blood vessels, but they often don’t develop properly and may leak. These can scar the retina, resulting in poor vision. People with diabetic retinopathy may have blurred, fluctuating and impaired color vision. They may also see spots or dark strings floating in their vision. Get in touch with your eye specialist if you experience these symptoms.
Diabetic Macular Edema
The macula is responsible for your most detailed vision abilities. Diabetic macular edema, however, damages this part of the eye when fluid accumulates in it. Note that this eye disease can only develop if you already have diabetic retinopathy.
Diabetes can also trigger cataracts. High levels of glucose can cause the natural lens of the eyes to swell, which can affect the clarity of your vision. The lens also converts glucose to sorbitol. This substance can cause the lens to become less clear and more opaque, leading to cataract formation. To learn whether you have cataracts or other vision-threatening diseases, visit your local optometrist or eye doctor for a comprehensive eye exam.
Neovascular glaucoma is a rare form of glaucoma that’s associated with diabetes. Patients with proliferative diabetic retinopathy are also more prone to developing neovascular glaucoma.
Turn to Lifetime Vision Source for your eye care health and for your children’s pediatric eye exam. Call us today at (701) 864-3777 or fill out our online form to schedule an appointment. We serve residents of Jamestown, ND, and other nearby locations.