A common question people ask is does diabetes affect eyesight? and what is diabetic eye disease?
So to answer these 2 questions,
- YES – Your eyesight will be affected if your diabetes is not controlled.
- If your blood sugar is mostly high, you risk running into 4 eye problems. Any of these 4 problems are what is know as diabetic eye disease
Diabetic eye disease can affect many parts of the eye, including the macula, optic nerve, retina, and lens
Diabetic retinopathy affects blood vessels in the retina that lines the back of the eye. It is the most common cause of vision loss among people with diabetes.
Diabetic macular edema (DME). A consequence of diabetic retinopathy, DME is swelling in an area of the retina called the macula.
Diabetic eye disease also includes cataract and glaucoma:
Cataract is a clouding of the eye’s lens. Adults with diabetes are 2-5 times more likely than those without diabetes to develop a cataract. Cataract also tends to develop at an earlier age in people with diabetes.
Glaucoma is a group of diseases that damage the eye’s optic nerve—the bundle of nerve fibers that connects the eye to the brain. Some types of glaucoma are associated with elevated pressure inside the eye. In adults, diabetes nearly doubles the risk of glaucoma.
All forms of diabetic eye disease have the potential to cause severe vision loss and blindness
Avoiding Diabetic Eye Disease
If you smoke, get help to quit smoking from your doctor or stop smoking clinic, eat a healthy balanced diet, exercise regularly and have a dilated eye exam once a year to spot any signs early.
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About one in three people with diabetes who are older than age 40 already have some signs of diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy is the most common cause of vision loss in people with diabetes. Each person’s outlook for the future, however, depends in large part on regular care. Finding and treating diabetic retinopathy early can reduce the risk of blindness by 95 percent.