What is the link between diabetes and vision health?

istock 1225860730 Diabetes is a common condition that affects millions of Americans. Not only does it affect one’s blood sugar levels, but it can also play a role in the development of other conditions elsewhere in the body. Diabetes is known to damage blood vessels and nerves throughout the body, especially if the condition is not managed properly. This can put patients with diabetes at an increased risk of a variety of eye concerns. Because of the strong link between diabetes and vision health, it is important that patients work with an ophthalmologist who understands this connection and can help patients avoid the development or progression of certain eye disorders.

What conditions are often linked to patients with diabetes?

There are several types of conditions of the eye that can be impacted by patients who have mismanaged diabetes. These include some of the following:

  • Diabetic retinopathy – one of the most commonly seen eye conditions seen in patients with diabetes is diabetic retinopathy. This is the leading cause of blindness in adults, especially those with diabetes, as it can cause damage to the eye’s retina. The retina is responsible for transferring images to the brain. When this condition is present, it can cause floaters, black spots in the field of vision, and eventually loss of centralized vision if not diagnosed and addressed in the earliest stages.
  • Glaucoma – patients with diabetes are twice as likely to develop glaucoma than someone who does not have diabetes, as reported by The Diabetes Council. The relationship between the two is still misunderstood, but patients should be evaluated regularly for this condition which can cause tunnel vision and with time, significant vision loss.
  • Cataracts – patients with diabetes are also 60% more likely to develop cataracts than patients without diabetes. This condition causes clouding of the eye lens that cannot be reversed. The only treatment available for cataracts is surgery, and this is only discussed if it is significantly impacting one’s quality of life and the ability to perform daily tasks such as driving or reading.

Are you concerned about your vision due you diabetes?

Talk with one of our ophthalmologists at North Suburban Eye Associates, P.C. today to learn more about ways to prevent certain eye conditions from developing due to mismanaged diabetes. Call (781) 245-5200 to schedule an appointment at any one of the three locations throughout the communities of Winchester, Waltham, or Wakefield, MA.

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