Diabetes is a medical condition effecting well over 285 million people worldwide, and is considered a global epidemic. Such a disease has a great number of symptoms and can have severe effects on the body. In particular, many symptoms effect the eyes. This will feature some of the effects diabetes can have on the eyes, as well as suggested treatments.
It is strongly advised to seek professional assistance, so schedule an eye exam with one of our eye doctors in Spring, TX, if you or someone you know is suffering from diabetes and shows any of these symptoms.
Diabetes and Cataracts
While they could develop in just about anyone, but sufferers of diabetes have an over 60% increased likelihood of developing cataracts. In addition, you’re more likely to develop cataracts at a younger age when suffering from diabetes. Cataracts are a condition where the eye’s clear lens begin clouding, impairing vision. This will eventually result in blurred vision, trouble with bright lights and darkness, and eventual blindness. Wearing sunglasses can alleviate symptoms, but the only surefire treatment method for cataracts is surgery. However, this is only necessary if the problems caused by cataracts are particularly severe, and an optometrist should be consulted to determine the necessity of surgery.
Diabetes and Dry Eye Syndrome
Dry Eyes have a variety of triggers, including high cholesterol. As such, it can frequently be found in many diabetics. Dry Eye Syndrome is a chronic condition that frequently cause severe itchiness and irritation in the eye. The condition can vary in severity and it is suggested that one consult our eye doctors for further guidance.
Diabetes and Glaucoma
This is a severe condition that damages the optic nerve, eventually resulting in total loss of sight. Glaucoma is the second most common cause of blindness in the world, after cataracts. There are a variety of treatments for this condition, including medication, conventional surgery, laser surgery, and implants. The disease progresses slowly over time and can be diagnosed in the early stages. As such, those at risk, including diabetics, should schedule regular checkups with their eye doctor.
Diabetes and Diabetic Retinopathy
This condition is a direct result of diabetes, and affects over 80% of all those who have had diabetes for a period of 20 years. This condition often has no early warning signs whatsoever. Indeed, the first stage of Diabetic Retinopathy possesses no observable symptoms other than macular edema, an accumulation of fluid and protein under the macula of the eye. This may cause blurred vision, but is still very easy to miss.
The second stage is more severe, and has abnormal blood vessels form and consequently go through vitreous hemorrhage. This will cause one’s vision to be blocked by specks of blood, though these will fade after a few hours. Within a few days, however, these become more severe and the bleeding can outright blot out eyesight. It can take days, months, or even years for the blood to fade away, and sometimes not at all. Fortunately, this disease is manageable.
Some of the treatments our doctors consider include laser surgery, vitrectomy, and the injection of anti-VEGF agents. The treatments have a 95% success rate so long as the retina has not yet been severely damaged. Furthermore, 90% of all cases of Diabetic Retinopathy could be prevented with vigilant monitoring of the eyes.