People living with diabetes may have to deal with some health problems brought about directly by the disease. One of the most common issues caused by diabetes is blindness. Learning more about the way diabetes can affect your eyesight is an extremely important aspect of successfully managing the disease. Diabetes is the best reason ever to have your eyes examined at least twice a year.
Diabetic Eye Disease Can Cause Blindness
Diabetics do not usually experience symptoms caused by diabetic eye disease until after the disease has become advanced. The symptoms associated with diabetic eye disease are usually determined by the form of the disease present in your eye. For example, you may only experience blurry vision while someone you know that has diabetes suffered total blindness. Three forms of diabetic eye disease are common and if you are a diabetic, it is worthwhile to know a little more about each one:
Diabetic retinopathy: This form of diabetic eye disease causes changes to take place in the blood vessels of the retina. In some people, the vessels in their eyes begin to swell and leak. Other people might experience the formation of blood vessels on the the retina's surface. Diabetic retinopathy causes permanent blindness if left unchecked.
Neovascular glaucoma: A serious type of glaucoma that causes permanent vision loss and is a complication caused by diabetic retinopathy. Detecting neovascular glaucoma early can help you experience better vision for longer. However, there is no cure or restorative procedure for vision loss already present.
Subcapsular cataract: Studies have shown this type of cataract to be the leading cause of global blindness. Diabetics commonly experience subcapsular cataract issues that can be managed with diet and/or surgical intervention.
Protect Your Vision With Regular Eye Exams And Diabetic Management
You may have already had a dilated eye exam since being diagnosed with diabetes. However, if you have not, doing so is important. The exam involves drops being placed in your eyes that cause the pupils to open wider, giving your doctor a better, more detailed internal view of your eye. A dilated eye exam performed on a regular basis can be the best way to detect diabetic eye problems early enough for possible treatment.
Living your life with diabetes can be tough and can cause you to experience several other medical problems. By taking charge and becoming informed about how to best manage your vision and diabetes, you can help to prevent or delay some of the more devastating consequences of blindness associated with diabetic eye disease.