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What Diabetics Should Know About Eye Care

Complex and debilitating, diabetes is a serious health problem. Multiple risk factors, including overweight and inactivity, are contributing to a worldwide epidemic of diabetes. Diabetic consequences include damage to the eyes and other organs, and the disease is chronic and progressive. Medical consequences, such as heart disease, nerve damage (neuropathy), and lower limb amputations, are more common in those with diabetes than those without the condition. Having trouble seeing or going blind are both possible complications of diabetes.

Diabetes is a systematic disease that destroys the body and the immune system. The gradual onset of symptoms makes it easy to overlook the widespread organ failure that ultimately results from the disease. Long-term problems are possible if diabetes is not addressed. Damage to the retina of the eye caused by diabetes that is not well controlled is called diabetic retinopathy. The blood vessels in the retina are vulnerable to injury from high blood sugar. Blood flow is impaired because the blood vessels have been damaged. The retina loses oxygen and nutrients because of decreased blood flow. Diabetic retinopathy is an eye condition that can affect anyone who has diabetes. Diabetic retinopathy is a progressive disease. The prognosis for people with this eye illness varies substantially depending on how well their diabetes is controlled.

Changes like the development of new blood vessels can occur when diabetic retinopathy progresses. These newly created blood arteries are more prone to bulging and rupturing than established ones. The vitreous gel or retina is bled into when they rupture. If you have diabetes and are concerned about your eyes, keep an eye out for these symptoms: blurred vision, wavy vision, occasional double vision; floaters, dots, or dark strings in your field of vision; seeing dark spots or patches; sensitivity to light; poor night vision; altered color vision; and partial vision loss. Scar tissue on the retina’s surface might develop if diabetic retinopathy is not treated properly over time. Retinal detachment is possible due to the scar tissue’s ability to tug on the retina. Untreated tractional or retinal detachment is a leading cause of irreversible vision loss.

In the event of retinal detachment, vitrectomy is a surgical treatment that can enhance vision; nevertheless, your eyesight may not be fully normal following the procedure (it may not be completely restored). Checking your eyes at least once a year is recommended for those with diabetes because diabetic retinopathy is often not detected in its early stages. It is important for diabetics to get regular eye exams with either an ophthalmologist or an optometrist so that any signs of retinopathy or other visual disorders can be caught early.

Inquire about a dilated eye exam from your doctor of optometry. The procedure requires you to have drops put into your eyes to dilate them. The doctor will then use a magnifying device to check for abnormalities in the blood vessels, the lenses of both eyes, and the optic nerves of both eyes. Early detection, healthy lifestyle choices, careful control of blood sugar levels, and adequate follow-up treatment will ensure any diabetes-related visual problems are diagnosed early and addressed before they become serious problems.

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