Even many individuals with the disease are not informed that diabetes increases the risk of blindness. Diabetes is the main cause of loss of sight in adults under 75 years old according to recent studies by the NIH. One of the risks of diabetes is retinal damage caused by increased pressure in the blood vessels of the eye, which is called diabetic retinopathy. This condition causes severe vision impairment and even blindness. Anyone with the disease is at risk and it has affected over 3.7 million people in America over the past 10 years.
Early on, this condition often presents no noticeable symptoms. When the pressure in the blood vessels in the retina increases they begin to leak resulting in retinal damage. This will result in vision loss and when not treated, blindness.
Because symptoms are often not seen until vision is already at risk it is important to see your eye doctor annually to perform a comprehensive eye exam if you have diabetes. If you are diabetic 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 an appointment with an optometrist. In addition to diabetic retinopathy, diabetics are at increased risk of developing cataracts and glaucoma.
The risk of diabetic eye disease is higher when glucose levels are uncontrolled. Carefully monitoring your sugar levels through diet, exercise and staying healthy and yearly eye exams is the best combination for preventing vision loss.
If you or a loved one is diabetic, make sure you are knowledgeable about the risks of diabetic retinopathy and other eye risks and speak to your eye doctor to discuss questions or concerns. In this case, ignorance could cost you your precious eyesight