Diabetes and Your Eyes

Jul 17, 2022 | Eye Exam, general

If you or someone you love have diabetes, you need regular eye exams.

Diabetes affects how your body uses blood glucose, or blood sugar. Glucose is vital because is provides energy for your body and your brain, and normally, when you eat and your blood sugar rises, your pancreas releases insulin to move the glucose from your blood to your cells. With diabetes, the pancreas either doesn’t make enough insulin or the body can’t use the insulin correctly, so the glucose stays in the blood. Over time, the high levels of glucose in the blood can damage the blood vessels in the body, including the eyes.

Diabetic eye disease can damage the eyes and result in poor vision or blindness, and often there are no symptoms in the early stages. Anyone with diabetes can develop diabetic eye disease, but the risk increases if blood sugar levels and/or blood pressure levels aren’t controlled.    

Diabetic Retinopathy

The most common reason for vision loss in diabetics is diabetic retinopathy.

It affects the blood vessels in retina, which is the light-sensitive layer in the back of the eye. In the early stages of the disease, there may not be any symptoms, but in the later stages, as the blood vessels start to bleed into the vitreous, which is a gel-like fluid that fills the eye, dark, floating spots or streaks may occur in vision.

The risk to develop diabetic retinopathy increases the longer you have diabetes.  

Cataracts

While cataracts are common when people get older, they can happen to diabetics at an earlier age than people without diabetes.

Cataracts cause the front part of the eye to become cloudy and can make vision blurry or hazy, cause colors to seem faded, reduce night vision and increase sensitivity to light, and over time, can lead to vision loss.    

Diabetic macular edema

Diabetic macular edema is a build-up of fluid and swelling in the macula, which is the part of the retina used to see clearly while driving, reading, and seeing faces.

This disease can damage the vision in this part of the eye, and lead to either partial vision loss or blindness.    

Glaucoma

Diabetics have an increased risk of developing glaucoma. Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that damage the optic nerve and is called “the silent thief of sight” because it can begin with little to no pain or symptoms. The only way to catch it in the early stages is through regular eye exams.

Diabetic Eye Exam 

It is vital for diabetics to get regular eye exams to avoid vision loss or other eye problems, many of which have no obvious symptoms in the early stages. The doctors at The Eye Center have the expertise and the latest in technology to provide high-quality eye health and vision care for people with diabetes.

Book an appointment at The Eye Center in Pembroke Pines for a diabetic eye exam today.