Are you aware that living with diabetes increases your chances of blindness? Diabetes is the primary cause of blindness in adults under 75 years old according to the National Institute of Health. One of the risks of diabetes is retinal damage caused by excessive pressure in the blood vessels of the eye, which is called diabetic retinopathy. This condition causes severe vision impairment and even blindness. Anyone with the disease is at risk and it is projected to affect 11 million people by 2030.
Early on, diabetic retinopathy is often asymptomatic. When the pressure in the retinal blood vessels increases they begin to leak causing retinal damage. This damage leads to eventual blindness if it is not treated.
Since symptoms are often not noticed until it is too late it is crucial to schedule a yearly diabetic eye exam if you are diabetic. If you have diabetes and you notice any sort of vision problems, such as fluctuations in eyesight, floaters, double vision, shadows or spots or any pain in your eye schedule a visit with an optometrist. Diabetics are also at increased risk of developing cataracts and glaucoma due to the strain it causes on the eyes.
All diabetic eye diseases are more damaging when glucose levels are uncontrolled. Monitoring your diabetes through diet, exercise and staying healthy and annual eye exams is the best defense for preventing vision loss.
If you or a loved one is diabetic, be sure you know preventing diabetic retinopathy and other eye risks and consult with your eye doctor to discuss questions or concerns. In this case, ignorance could cost you your vision