Did you know that diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in people between the ages of 20 to 74? If you have this chronic medical condition, you should be aware of your increased risk for developing eye conditions that could rob you of your vision.
Eye Conditions Associated with Diabetes
Diabetes can cause certain eye conditions:
- Diabetic retinopathy is caused by damaged small blood vessels in your retina. It is related to having high blood sugar levels for an extended length of time and can lead to blindness.
- Background retinopathy is caused by damaged blood vessels. However, patients can still see, but the condition can worsen if diabetes is not effectively managed.
- Proliferative retinopathy, which occurs when cells at the back of you eye do not receive enough oxygen. This causes new and fragile blood vessels to grow and develop clots that can cause scars. These scars can cause the retina to be detached.
- Maculopathy, where diabetes causes the eye’s macular to swell. This affects the vision needed for driving, reading, and other similar activities. Sometimes the swelling can be reversed, but sometimes it can be difficult to treat this condition.
Having diabetes also increases your risk of developing glaucoma or cataracts, which are common eye conditions. Your vision can be saved when these conditions are caught early and treated.
Know the Warning Signs
Your best defense against diabetes-related vision loss is to visit your eye doctor as recommended. It is important to tell your doctor you have diabetes and seek care whenever you notice a change in your vision. If you experience unexplained blurry vision, sudden floaters or flashes of light, or eye pain, it is time to see your eye doctor.
The earlier eye problems are caught, the better the outcomes are for patients. Contact Valley Eye Care Center at (602) 955-2700 to schedule your comprehensive eye exam today.