How Diabetes Can Put Your Sight at Risk

How Diabetes Can Put Your Sight at Risk

The damage done to your body due to diabetes is widespread. The longer you live with uncontrolled blood glucose levels, the more serious this damage could become. Your eyes are particularly at risk, since these high blood sugar levels can damage the delicate structure of the eye and its blood supply. 

When you’re diagnosed with diabetes, you’ll receive a recommendation to have an eye exam. In fact, eye exams sometimes detect diabetes, a condition that has few symptoms in its early stages. Once damage starts in your eye, there are several ways that diabetes can put your sight at risk. 

For comprehensive care from diagnosis to condition management, contact IC Laser Eye Care. With three locations in the Philadelphia area (Philadelphia and Bensalem, Pennsylvania, and Hamilton, New Jersey), you have easy access to the finest up-to-date vision care available today to help you minimize the impact of diabetes on your eyes. 

How diabetes can put your sight at risk

Sugars in your blood provide the fuel that your body burns to function. Insulin is a hormone that signals to the cells in your body when to accept blood sugar (also known as blood glucose) for activity. 

When your body stops making insulin (type 1 diabetes) or when your cells start to resist insulin signals (type 2 diabetes), glucose levels in your blood can reach dangerous levels. These high levels of sugar can damage tissues, including blood vessels and nerves. When it comes to your eyes, there are four major ways your vision can be affected. 

1.  Blurry sight

If your corrective lens prescription seems to be out of date and you’ve recently had a diabetes diagnosis, the two may be connected. High blood glucose levels can cause your eyeballs to swell, changing the shape of your eye and interfering with the prescription you’ve been using. As you get blood sugar under control, this swelling stops, but it may take a few months before your eyesight returns to normal. 

2.  Diabetic retinopathy

The retina is the image-forming, light-sensitive tissue at the back of your eye. High blood sugar causes blockages in the small blood vessels that supply the retina. In response, new blood vessels form, and problems begin with these. Immature blood vessels can leak and create scar tissue. This tissue forces the retina away from the rear wall of the eye, a condition known as a detached retina. 

3.  Glaucoma

There are several forms of glaucoma, conditions usually marked by a buildup of fluid pressure within the eye. Open-angle glaucoma is most common, and it’s usually slow to develop. Fluids build up in the eye faster than the usual paths can drain, whether due to blockage or overproduction. Glaucoma can lead to optic nerve damage. 

4.  Cataracts

The lenses in each eye are normally clear. When proteins break down and cause the lens to become cloudy, you have cataracts. While anyone can develop cataracts, having diabetes increases the risk. You may develop cataracts sooner, and they could get worse more quickly.

Book a consultation with IC Laser Eye Care soon after your diagnosis to stay on top of the effects of diabetes on your vision. Contact the nearest office by phone or online to schedule an appointment. 

You Might Also Enjoy...

What Caused My Optic Neuropathy?

Neuropathy is the medical term describing nerve damage anywhere in the body. Your eyes can suffer from damage to the optic nerve in several ways, including a condition that’s essentially a stroke affecting this important nerve.

Get Relief For Chronic Dry Eye

A disorder of the surface of the eye, dry eye disease results from problems with the tear film that covers your eyes and is refreshed by blinking. Environmental and other factors can aggravate the condition, which is common among older adults.

I have a Pterygium. Will I Need Surgery?

The clear outer layer of the eye is prone to benign growths, particularly if your eyes are often exposed to UV light. A pterygium, also called surfer’s eye, can be a minor issue that needs no treatment, or it may cause discomfort or vision problems.

Do You Have These Symptoms of Macular Degeneration?

Slow deterioration of eyesight is a common part of getting older, but not all age-related vision changes are the same. Macular degeneration is one form with the potential to seriously interfere with your ability to recognize faces or drive.

Tips To Prepare for a Comprehensive Eye Exam

You have one set of eyes to last a lifetime, so their care is as important as any other aspect of your health. Eye exams are the best way to catch issues in the early stages, even if you see fine. It’s easy to prepare for a comprehensive eye exam.

Home Remedies for Dry Eye

With the prominence of digital screens in our daily lives, dry eye is a growing problem. Fortunately, there are plenty of home remedies to try, so your condition can be temporary with some awareness and a few small lifestyle changes.