Examining the Relationship Between Diabetes and the Eyes
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Eye Disorders and Eye Complications Associated with Diabetes
Diabetes is a disease that occurs when a person’s blood glucose levels are too high. When the body does not produce enough insulin, or it does not use insulin particularly well, it remains in the blood and does not reach any cells. Over time, people with diabetes who have too much glucose in their blood can be subject to various health problems because of it. The eyes are commonly affected in people with diabetes, causing various eye disorders.
Diabetes’ Role with Glaucoma
It may not be caused by diabetes specifically, but people who suffer from diabetes are 40 percent more likely to develop glaucoma. In fact, the longer someone has diabetes, the more they are likely to develop this painful eye condition. Glaucoma happens when there is too great of a pressure built up in the eye, which leads to a slower drainage of the aqueous humor, and a buildup in the anterior chamber. This pressure pinches the blood vessels in the eye, and vision becomes gradually diminished over time.
Diabetes and Cataracts
A cataract is defined by the clouding of a usually clear eye lens, and often makes it difficult for men and women to see clearly. Cataracts can develop for a multitude of reasons, including a patient’s age, or a former injury. While many people with cataracts do not have diabetes, those who do have diabetes are more prone to developing them. This is because cataracts can form from the diabetes, which affects the tissues in the eye that makes up the eye’s lens. People with diabetes tend to develop cataracts at a younger age, and cataracts typically progress faster than they normally would in patients with diabetes.
Diabetic Macular Edema
Diabetic macular edema is typically associated with those who have type 2 diabetes, and can cause reduced or distorted vision. There are two ways to classify diabetic macular edema: focal and diffuse. Focal is brought on by micro aneurysms, or other abnormalities that are combined with leaky blood vessels. Diffuse brings about dilated or swollen smaller blood vessels, called capillaries, within the retina.
It’s really tempting to just get a new pair of glasses, or try to switch your prescription, when you experience blurred vision. However, as eye care professionals know, there could be a larger, more serious underlying issue that is causing the blurriness. Blurred vision is a definite symptom of diabetes. When blood glucose levels go up in people with diabetes, the blood becomes thicker. Thicker blood pulls in more fluid from surrounding tissues, including the lenses of the eye, which impacts your ability to focus it completely, making it blurry.
The most common diabetic eye condition, diabetic retinopathy, occurs when blood vessels in the retina change, swell, leak fluid or close completely. New blood vessels may grow on the surface of the retina, but that does not always happen. In its early stages, diabetic retinopathy may cause no apparent symptoms. However, if it’s left untreated, diabetic retinopathy can cause blindness. The condition can appear in patients with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, and it is more likely to develop if blood sugar is not regularly controlled daily.
There are two types of diabetic retinopathy. Non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy is the first stage, and can occur at any time after the onset of diabetes. Proliferative diabetic retinopathy is the second type, and has the greatest risk of visual loss.
Receive Diabetic Eye Treatment in NJ at Marano Eye Care
Diabetes affects millions of men and women across the nation, and it is the leading cause of adult blindness in patients between the ages of 20 to 75. Marano Eye Care encourages any patients who have diabetes to regularly visit the eye doctor to avoid serious diabetic eye complications, which are usually caused by the heightened blood sugar levels. It is crucial for those living with diabetes to get their eyes checked regularly, so that conditions can be monitored and treated accordingly. If you would like to undergo a complete eye exam, please contact us at Marano Eye Care by filling out an online form.