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Are you at risk for Diabetic Eye Disease?

These days, diabetes is all too common. A lot of people don't know just how much it can affect patients. For example, diabetes increases the likelihood of developing several eye-related diseases. These conditions include diabetic retinopathy, cataracts and glaucoma, as well as a number of other conditions that, even though they may be seemingly unrelated to your sight, can worsen your eye health.

Diabetic retinopathy, which occurs when high blood glucose levels cause harm to the retina, and it's also one of the leading causes of blindness in adults in the developed world.

While cataracts, which lead to vision impairment, and are a typical result of old age, many people aren't aware that diabetes can lead to the early development of them.

Diabetes sufferers are double as likely to develop glaucoma, which is can lead to blindness. Glaucoma develops due to a build-up of pressure in the eye, leading to damage of nerves in the eye and vision loss.

Anyone with diabetes, regardless of whether it is type 1 or type 2 - are at increased chance of developing diabetic eye disease, even more so if their diabetes is uncontrolled. Other risk factors include:

  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Duration of the disease
  • Age
  • Poor diet and lack of exercise
  • Race í studies have proven that African-Americans and Hispanics may be more susceptible to developing diabetic retinopathy and vision loss.

Symptoms of diabetic eye diseases usually shift with blood sugar levels. These often include the following:

  • Blurry or distorted vision that may fluctuate
  • Blind spots or floaters
  • Double vision
  • Eye Pain
  • Development of scotoma or a shadow in the field of view
  • Problems with near vision
  • Corneal abrasions

It's crucial to be aware that diabetic eye disease can develop prior to its symptoms even being noticed.

Detecting the condition while it's still asymptomatic can make a big difference when it comes to avoiding irreversible loss of vision. With this is mind, it is strongly advised that people with diabetes go get a yearly eye exam, to make certain that everything is running smoothly. If you have diabetes, it's so important to be sure you know about diabetic eye disease. Annual eye exams, coupled with proper preventative measures, can save your vision.