Diabetes can wreak havoc on the body in a lot of ways. This common condition develops when sugar is not being used or stored properly. Symptoms of diabetes include high blood sugar levels, excessive urination, and thirst. It may also cause changes in the blood vessels, veins, and arteries.
Vision can also be affected by diabetes, it can lead to glaucoma, cataracts and damaged vessels in the eye. In addition, the condition puts you at risk for diabetic retinopathy, also known as diabetic eye disease.
Diabetic retinopathy can result in vision loss. This diabetic condition develops when negative changes occur in the ocular blood vessels. Damaged vessels in the retina become fragile as they leak blood or fluid, develop scar tissue and brush-like branches. This caused images to appear blurred and distorted. The retina is in the rear of the eye and sends images to the brain. If this nerve layer is damaged, vision is impaired.
The chance of developing diabetic retinopathy increases the longer a person lives with diabetes. In the U.S. diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness in adults. Untreated diabetics are at a higher risk for vision loss than the general population. What’s more, 80 percent of people who have suffered from diabetes for 15 years or more have some degree of retinal blood vessel damage. Fortunately, only a small percentage of patients with diabetic eye disease develop blindness due to early diagnosis and treatment.
Diabetes leaves you at risk for many conditions that are destructive to your body, including diabetic retinopathy. Early intervention is the key to keeping diabetic eye disease from progressing to the advanced stages and putting your vision at risk. So, to maintain your eye health and sight, schedule a visit with your eye doctor today.