If you have diabetes you may want to be concerned about vision problems now or in the future. Vision problems and diabetes are not abnormal. So how does diabetes affect your eyesight? The longer you have diabetes, the higher your chances are of having complications with your eyesight.
Is it true that diabetes can lead to blindness? Yes, if you have diabetes your risk is higher of blindness than people without diabetes. But most people who have diabetes do not have major eye disorders.
By having regular eye checkups, you should be able to keep your eye problems minor. If you do develop a major problem, there are treatments that work well if you begin them right away.
FACTS ABOUT YOUR VISION AND DIABETES
High blood sugar (glucose) increases your risk of eye problems.
Three major eye problems related to diabetes. Cataracts, glaucoma, and retinopathy.
If you have type 1 diabetes you should have a dilated eye exam within three to five years after diagnosis.
If you are a type 2 diabetic you should have a dilated eye exam shortly after diagnosis.
Annual eye exams should be done for both type 1 and type 2 diabetics more frequently if necessary.
For diabetic's that are concerned about their vision, the first thing is controlling your high blood sugar. High blood pressure places a strain on the blood vessels in your eyes, causing the blood vessels to narrow or bleed when there is too much blood pressure. It may also cause the optic nerve to swell affecting your ability to see well.
ARE DIABETICS MORE LIKELY TO GET CATARACTS?
Cataracts is not limited to those who just have diabetes. Diabetics will usually get cataracts at an earlier age than most people and the condition can progress more rapidly than with people without diabetes.
Cataracts are the clouding or fogging of the lens of your eye. In most cases you will notice this in one eye only. The lens is what allows you to see clearly and focus on an image without blurred vision.
HOW IS GLAUCOMA RELATED TO DIABETES?
Neovascular glaucoma is when new blood vessels grow on the iris of your eye. That is the colored part of your eye. These new blood vessels can start closing off fluid flow in your eye and raise the eye pressure.
Glaucoma can be a difficult disease to treat. Laser surgery is one option that reduces the blood vessels on the iris and on the retinal surface. There also has been some success by using drainage implants.