If you have diabetes, regular visits to your eye doctor are important to avoid diabetic eye problems. High blood sugar (glucose) increases the risk of diabetic eye problems. In fact, diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in adults age 20 to 74. High blood sugar in diabetes causes the lens of the eye to swell which then changes your ability to see. To correct this kind of eye problem, it is important to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. It may take as long as three months after your blood sugar is well controlled for your vision to stabilize. Blurred vision can also be a symptom of more serious eye problems with diabetes. The three major diabetic eye problems that people with diabetes may develop are cataracts, glaucoma and retinopathy.
Cataracts: A cataract is a clouding of the normally clear lens of the eye. The lens is what allows us to see and focus on an image. Although anyone can get cataracts, people with diabetes get these eye problems at an earlier age than most and the condition progresses more rapidly than in people without diabetes.
Glaucoma: When fluid inside the eye does not drain properly from a buildup of pressure inside the eye, it results in another diabetic eye problem called glaucoma. The pressure in the eye damages nerves and the blood vessels, causing changes in vision.
Diabetic Retinopathy: Diabetic retinopathy is one of the vascular (blood-vessel related) complications related to diabetes. This diabetic eye problem is due to damage of small vessels and is called a microvascular complication. Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of irreversible blindness. The duration of diabetes is the most important risk for developing retinopathy; the longer you have diabetes, the greater the risk of this very serious eye problem. If retinopathy is not found early or is not treated, it can lead to blindness. To avoid vision changes and serious eye problems, it is important to properly control your blood sugar and have regular eye exams. To schedule an exam with one of our doctors in Florence, contact Carolinas Centers for Sight at 800-868-9393 today.