Blurred Vision: Diabetic retinopathy
When you first realize that your vision is blurry, resist the urge to immediately get a new pair of glasses. It can merely be a short-lived issue brought on by high blood sugar levels that manifests suddenly. Type 2 diabetes affects up to one in four working-age adults (those between the ages of 20 and 60), although many of them are unaware of it. You can only imagine their astonishment, then, when we give them a referral to have their diabetes checked out after they visit an ophthalmologist for hazy vision or eye floaters.
Over time, diabetes can harm your eyes, resulting in vision loss or possibly blindness. The good news is that diabetes management and routine eye exams can help prevent visual issues and halt their progression.
Diabetes patients are susceptible to developing diabetic retinopathy, macular edema (which typically occurs in conjunction with diabetic retinopathy), cataracts, and glaucoma. All of these conditions can cause vision loss, but early detection and treatment can greatly improve your chances of keeping your sight.
Diabetic retinopathy: What is it?
Those who have diabetes may develop diabetic retinopathy, an eye disorder that can lead to blindness and vision loss. The retina’s blood vessels are impacted (the light-sensitive layer of tissue in the back of your eye).
It’s crucial to undergo a thorough dilated eye exam at least once a year if you have diabetes. Although diabetic retinopathy may not initially present with any symptoms, detecting it early might help you take precautions to preserve your vision.
You can avoid or delay vision loss by controlling your diabetes by staying active, eating well, and taking your medications.
Diabetic Macular Edema
The macula is the area of your retina that is necessary for activities like reading, driving, and recognizing faces. Diabetes can cause diabetic macular edema, a swelling of the macula. This condition has the potential to gradually obliterate this area of the eye’s keen vision, resulting in partial blindness or vision loss. Macular edema typically appears in individuals with concomitant symptoms of diabetic retinopathy.
The optic nerve, the bundle of nerves that connects the eye to the brain, can be harmed by the group of eye illnesses known as glaucoma. Glaucoma, which if left untreated can result in visual loss and blindness, is twice as likely to develop in those with diabetes.
Retinopathy in Diabetics: Risk Factors
Approximately 40% to 45% of patients with diabetes have symptoms of diabetic retinopathy. It can occur in people with type 1, type 2, or gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy). Diabetes increases your risk of developing it the longer you have the disease. Your risk may also be increased by the following:
Too-high levels of cholesterol, blood pressure, and sugar.
African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, and American Indians/Alaska Natives are at higher risk due to their race and ethnicity.
Around one in three diabetics who are older than 40 already exhibit some diabetic retinopathy symptoms. The most frequent reason for vision loss among diabetics is diabetic retinopathy. Nonetheless, the outlook for each person’s future is greatly influenced by routine care. Early diagnosis and management of diabetic retinopathy can significantly lower the chance of blindness—by 95%.
Signs and symptoms of diabetic eye disease
The early stages of diabetic eye disease frequently show no symptoms. When damage starts to occur inside your eyes, especially with diabetic retinopathy, you might not experience any pain or changes in your vision.
If symptoms do materialize, they can include
Blurry Or Wavy Vision
Frequently Changing Vision—Sometimes From Day To Day
Dark Areas Or Vision Loss
Poor Color Vision
Spots Or Dark Strings (Also Called Floaters)
Flashes Of Light
How to avoid or postpone eye diseases
By doing the following actions, you can safeguard your vision and reduce your risk of vision loss:
To help your eye doctor identify any issues early, when they are most treatable, schedule a dilated eye check at least once a year.
As much as you can, keep your blood sugar levels within the desired range. Over time, having high blood sugar can harm your eyes’ blood vessels, alter the way your lenses look, and cause hazy vision.
Reduce your risk of eye disorders and vision loss by maintaining healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Furthermore beneficial to your general health.
Give up smoking. Stopping reduces your chance for eye conditions linked to diabetes and enhances your health in numerous other ways.
Get moving. Exercise helps you control diabetes and protects your eyes.
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