Diabetes is a condition that affects how the body utilizes glucose. Diabetes leads to excess sugar in the blood, and this leads to a wide range of issues in the body. One part of the body that is affected by diabetes is the eyes. Understanding how diabetes and increased blood sugar affect the eyes is important to prevent damage to your vision. Let’s explore how diabetes affects the eyes and the importance of diabetic eye treatment.
Diabetes and the Eyes
Diabetes is one of the leading causes of blindness for people under 50. Diabetes can increase the chance of developing damaging eye conditions, but people with diabetes are at the highest risk of diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy is an eye condition that causes spots or strings floating in your vision, vision loss, dark spots, blank spots, blurred vision, and fluctuating vision. These symptoms are caused by damage to the blood vessels in the eye.
Excess sugar in the blood, often caused by diabetes, can damage blood vessels. The blood vessels become stiff and less elastic from the increase in blood sugar. This impedes blood flow and damages the structure of the blood vessels. These damaged blood vessels can affect the light-sensitive tissue at the back of your eye, which is called the retina. While the condition is often mild at first, diabetic retinopathy can eventually lead to blindness.
If you have diabetes, then you may already know about the risk of diabetic retinopathy. However, there are some key things to be aware of so you know when to see a doctor. Being pregnant can increase your risk of developing complications from diabetes, and you should schedule additional eye exams. You should also contact your doctor right away in you experience sudden changes in your vision.
Roughly 11.3 percent of Americans have diabetes. Of that percentage, over 20 percent of people with diabetes don’t know they have it. This can lead to periods of time without treatment and can cause damage to the body, especially the eyes. That’s why Dr. Thomas Croloey, with the Central Florida Eye Institute, provides comprehensive diabetic eye treatments. Every person deserves to have a good vision, including people with diabetes. If you have diabetes and haven’t had your eyes treated, then contact the Central Florida Eye Institute at 352-237-8400 today.