Even many people with the disease are unaware of the fact that diabetes can lead to vision loss. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH) in individuals between 20 and 74, diabetes is the leading cause of blindness. One of the most serious complications of diabetes is when the retina is damaged by increased pressure in the blood vessels of the eye. This is called diabetic retinopathy. This condition is a particularly serious complication of the disease and it is projected to affect 11 million people by 2030.
Diabetic retinopathy can be asymptomatic until it is too late. When the pressure in the retinal blood vessels increases they begin to leak causing irreparable damage to the retina. This damage will result in eventual blindness if it is not treated.
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 make sure to see your optometrist. Diabetics are also at increased risk of developing cataracts and glaucoma due to the strain it causes on the eyes.
With early diagnosis and treatment, we can stop loss of vision. In addition to making sure to schedule a diabetic eye exam once a year if you are diabetic, keeping your blood sugar levels under control is vital to your eye health.
If you or a loved one has diabetes, be sure you are informed about the risks of diabetic retinopathy and other eye risks and speak to your eye doctor to discuss questions or concerns. In this case, ignorance could cost you your precious eyesight