How Does Diabetes Affect the Eyes?

How Does Diabetes Affect the Eyes?

November is diabetes awareness month! In line with the theme, learn how the disease affects your eyes. It will help you take good care of them and avoid vision loss as you age. 

One of the things that you need to do regularly is eye checkups. High blood sugar can make things look blurry, a sign of age-related eye diseases. It could signify that you have glaucoma, cataracts, or retinopathy. These eye diseases are common in people who have diabetes. It can lead to blindness as early as age 20.


Blurry Vision

Blurry vision is by far the most straightforward condition to handle. It is primarily a result of high blood sugar, which causes your lens to swell. When it does, it causes problems with your sight. You should lower your blood sugar to correct it; the target range is 70-130 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). The amount should be higher after you have your meals—about 180 mg/dL should be your level after one or two hours of having dinner or a meal.

Your vision may take about three months before it gets back to normal. During this time, make sure to get a diabetic eye exam. It will let you know if the condition could be more serious.


Damaged Blood Vessels

When you do not treat your diabetes and deal with the issue of high sugar levels, it can cause you to go blind. However, you can also end up with diabetic retinopathy due to damage to the small blood vessels in your retina. The damaged blood vessels leak and swell. This affects your vision and makes it blurry. 

Sometimes, new blood vessels may grow. These vessels may be new, but they are not strong as your blood vessels. Hence, they continue the leaking. Diabetic retinopathy usually affects both eyes, so check your blood sugar to avoid getting this condition.


Swelling of the Macula

The macula is an area of the retina that provides the ideal vision for driving and reading. When this area swells, the swelling may be irreversible. Even if the doctor manages to treat it, the process entails complications. It can also be challenging.


Retinal Detachment

Sometimes, the new blood vessels bleed and form a clot in the eye. The clot can cause scars or pull your retina away from the back of the eye. This retinal detachment can lead to irreversible vision loss. However, the doctor can treat the condition by performing surgery. They can also use a laser procedure that burns the new blood vessels.


Cloudy Lens

This age-related eye condition can form earlier in people with diabetes than in others. It causes clouding of the natural eye lens, resulting in blurry vision. One way of dealing with it is by replacing the natural lens with a clear, artificial lens. The procedure is safe, and you do not have to spend time in the hospital. However, it is better to go for regular diabetic eye exams. You will avoid the need to replace your eye lens. 

Take advantage of diabetic eye disease awareness month. Get to know what is wrong or right with your eyes. Diabetic eye exams lead to early treatment of eye diseases. They help save your vision and avoid blindness.

For more information on how diabetes affects your eyes, visit Lifetime Vision and Eye Care at our Miami Gardens, Florida office. Call (305) 902-3320 to schedule an appointment today.

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