How Diabetes Can Affect Your Eye Health
We’ll just say it: having diabetes is no fun. But did you know it can affect your eye health, too? People who have diabetes (type 1 and type 2) are at a greater risk of developing certain eye conditions, so visit your eye doctor to monitor any symptoms of eye disease.
If you have diabetes or prediabetes, see us today for a diabetic eye exam. It could potentially save your eyesight.
Diabetic retinopathy is an ocular condition that affects the retina, which is the part of the eye responsible for processing light and sending messages to the brain, creating your vision.
As you may know, diabetes causes heightened glucose levels in the blood. When diabetic retinopathy occurs, the blood vessels in the eyes can swell and leak into the retina. If left undetected or untreated, it could cause visual impairment or sight loss.
The good news is that it’s treatable, even before you notice symptoms. During your eye exam, we can take detailed images of your retina to monitor movement and accurately diagnose any changes.
There are four progressive stages of diabetic retinopathy, and symptoms may not show in the early stages. Be aware of the following symptoms if changes do start to occur:
- Blurred, distorted, double vision
- Flashes of light in visual field
- Sudden loss of vision
- Difficulty distinguishing colours
The treatment your optometrist offers depends on how far your diabetic retinopathy has progressed.
In the early stages, simple tweaks to your lifestyle can help manage the condition. Monitoring your blood sugar levels, avoiding smoking, and keeping your blood pressure low are a few ways to lower your risk of diabetic retinopathy.
As diabetic retinopathy progresses, further treatment may be necessary, including retinal surgery, laser treatment, or anti-VEGF injections. After your treatment, make sure to keep up with your regular eye exam appointments to monitor your ocular health.
Other Diabetic Eye Diseases
Other eye diseases can develop as a result of having diabetes. Visit Visus Eyewear + Eyecare for a diabetic eye exam to screen for signs of oncoming eye conditions.
People who have had diabetes for a prolonged period are potentially at a higher risk of getting glaucoma. The onset of glaucoma is often asymptomatic, but it can cause total vision loss if left undetected and untreated.
Diabetic Macular Edema
Having diabetic retinopathy can lead to diabetic macular edema. This condition results from a build-up of fluid in the macula (a tiny but mighty part of the retina), causing it to swell and thicken.
You may notice symptoms like distorted vision or seeing colours as washed out or faded. Treatments are similar to those of diabetic retinopathy.
Cataracts form as we age, and this eye condition is widespread in adults over 80.
People who have diabetes have elevated blood sugar, which affects the whole body, including the eyes. This excess blood sugar increases in the aqueous humor, between the lens and the cornea, causing the lens to swell and form cataracts. Treatment for severe cataracts often involves surgery.
Keep Your Health on Track
Maintaining a healthful lifestyle while you have diabetes is hard enough. By booking your diabetic eye exam, you can stay on a healthy track and treat diabetic eye diseases that could affect your quality of life.
Stop by our office on Upper James Street just north of Rymal Road E. We’re right off the LINC for convenient access from all over the Greater Hamilton area.
- 1595 Upper James St.
- Hamilton, ON L9B 0H7
- Phone: 905.526.4884
- Email: email@example.com
Hours of Operation
- Monday: 10 AM – 4 PM
- Tuesday: 10 AM – 6 PM
- Wednesday: 10 AM – 6 PM
- Thursday: 10 AM – 7 PM
- Friday: 10 AM – 7 PM
- Saturday: 10 AM – 4 PM
- Sunday: 11 AM – 3 PM