Diabetes affects all aspects of your health, including, of course, the eyes. Any changes in the eyes can be a sign of serious problems – read on for some more information on eye problems to watch out for that are commonly seen in patients with diabetes.
Diabetes and eye problems
Diabetes is the primary cause of blindness in adults, but having blood sugar that is constantly too high can increase the risk of a variety of other issues as well:
• Cataracts. These are actually very common even in people who don’t have diabetes. However, people with diabetes often get them earlier in life than they would have otherwise, and they can very quickly become serious. Cataracts cloud up the lens of the eye and make it difficult for the eye to focus.
• Blurry vision. This can be caused by high blood sugar causing the lens to swell. It may be only temporary and may resolve itself once blood sugar levels go down.
• Retinopathy. This occurs when the blood vessels in the back of the eye become damaged, and it can cause blindness. Keeping blood sugar levels under control can prevent a patient with diabetes from getting it.
• Glaucoma. This is caused by fluid buildup in the eye, which causes pressure. This can cause eye damage and affect vision.
If you have diabetes, the most important thing you can do (besides taking care of yourself, of course) is to make regular visits to your doctor and your eye doctor. Make sure to let your eye doctor know that you have diabetes. He or she will want to give you a thorough exam at least once a year and will want to carefully monitor any changes in your eyes. If you ever have black spots in your vision, flashes of light, or sudden blurred vision, you should contact your doctor immediately.
It can be challenging to live with diabetes. Having a great medical team to support you – including an expert eye care staff – can help. For help caring for your eyes, call Richens Eye Center for an appointment. Call the office in St. George, UT, or Mesquite, NV, at (435) 986-2020 today!