Diabetic eye disease is a term for several eye problems that can all result from diabetes. Diabetic eye disease includes:
Diabetic retinopathy is when the retina swells, leaks, or closes off completely. Abnormal new blood vessels can also grow on the surface of the retina.
People who have diabetes or poor blood sugar control are at risk for diabetic retinopathy. Risk also increases the longer someone has diabetes. One woman developed diabetic retinopathy after living with diabetes for 25 years.
Macular edema happens when fluid builds up on the retina and causes swelling and blurry vision. Diabetes can cause macular edema. Diabetic macular edema can lead to permanent vision loss.
Excess blood sugar from diabetes can cause cataracts. You may need cataract surgery to remove lenses that are clouded by the effects of diabetes. Maintaining good control of your blood sugar helps prevent permanent clouding of the lens and surgery.
Glaucoma is a group of diseases that cause damage to your eye’s optic nerve. This damage leads to irreversible loss of vision. Having diabetes doubles your chance of getting glaucoma.
To prevent eye damage from diabetes, maintain good control of your blood sugar. Follow your primary care physician’s diet and exercise plan. If you have not had an eye exam with an ophthalmologist, it is crucial to get one now. Be sure to never skip the follow-up exams that your ophthalmologist recommends.
Diabetes can cause vision problems even if you do not have a form of diabetic eye disease.
If your blood sugar levels change quickly, it can affect the shape of your eye’s lens, causing blurry vision. Your vision goes back to normal after your blood sugar stabilizes. Have your blood sugar controlled before getting your eyeglasses prescription checked. This ensures you receive the correct prescription.
Diabetes is a risk factor for several other eye diseases. They include:
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