Even many people with the disease are unaware of the fact that diabetes increases the risk of vision-threatening eye damage. In fact, the risk is so high that diabetes is the main cause of blindness in adults under 75 years old. One of the risks of diabetes is retinal damage caused by increased pressure in the blood vessels of the eye. This is called diabetic retinopathy. This condition causes severe vision impairment and even blindness and is a risk for anyone with the disease.
Diabetic retinopathy is often unnoticed until considerable damage is done. When the pressure in the blood vessels in the retina increases they begin to leak resulting in retinal damage. This damage can cause eventual blindness if it is not treated.
Warning signs of developing diabetic retinopathy include fluctuating vision, eye floaters and spots, shadows in the field of view, blurred vision, corneal abnormalities, seeing double, eye pain and near vision problems that have nothing to do with presbyopia. Diabetes also increases the risk of developing glaucoma and cataracts.
There are ways slow the progression of diabetic eye diseases and stop further loss of vision as a result of diabetes, however early detection and treatment are necessary. In addition to making sure that you have a regular eye exam on a yearly basis if you are diabetic, controlling your diabetes is necessary to your eye health. Make sure to keep your glucose levels within the proper range and monitor and control your blood pressure. Ensure that you exercise and maintain a healthy diet and refrain from smoking.
This month, spread awareness of the risks of diabetic retinopathy and consult with your optometrist if you have any questions. In this case, knowledge really is the key to sight.