Too many people are not aware that diabetes increases the chances vision threatening eye damage. Diabetes is the leading cause of total vision loss in individuals between 20 and 74 according to recent studies by the National Institute of Health. One of the risks of diabetes is when the retina is damaged by increased pressure in the blood vessels of the eye, which is called diabetic retinopathy. This condition is a particularly serious complication of the disease and it has affected over 3.7 million people in America in the past 10 years.
In its early stages, this condition often presents no noticeable symptoms. When the pressure in the retinal blood vessels builds up they start to leak resulting in retinal damage. This can cause eventual blindness if it is not treated.
If you have diabetes and you notice any sort of vision problems, such as fluctuations in eyesight, floaters, double vision, shadows or spots or any pain in your eye make sure to see an optometrist. Diabetes also increases the risk of developing glaucoma and cataracts.
There are effective treatments to slow the progression of diabetic eye diseases and stop further vision loss resulting from the disease, however early detection and treatment are crucial. In addition to making sure to schedule a regular eye exam once a year if you are diabetic, keeping your blood sugar levels under control is vital to preserving your vision.
If you or a loved one has diabetes, be sure you know preventing diabetic eye disease and speak to your optometrist if you have any questions. It could mean the difference between a life of sight and one of darkness.