When we think about diabetes, we often think of how it affects our heart, nerves, and kidneys, but did you know that it can also have a serious impact on our eyes? Diabetes is a leading cause of blindness and vision loss in adults. Many people with diabetes are unaware of this connection, which is why it’s important to educate ourselves on the topic.
Let’s take a closer look at the link between diabetes and eye health and why regular eye exams are crucial for diabetics.
How diabetes affects your eye health
Diabetes can impact your eye health in several ways. High blood sugar levels can damage the blood vessels in the retina, leading to a condition called diabetic retinopathy. This condition happens when fluid or blood leaks from the blood vessels into the retina, causing damage and eventually resulting in vision loss. Additionally, diabetic retinopathy can cause abnormal blood vessels to grow on the surface of the retina. These vessels may break and bleed into the eye, which often leads to vision changes or even blindness.
Diabetes can also increase your risk of other eye problems such as cataracts and glaucoma. Cataracts, a clouding of the eye’s lens, can develop at an earlier age in people with diabetes. Glaucoma, a group of eye diseases that damage the optic nerve, is twice as likely to develop in people with diabetes than those without it. These eye conditions can lead to vision loss if left untreated.
Early detection is crucial
Early detection of eye complications is crucial for people with diabetes. The longer diabetic retinopathy goes undetected, the more challenging it is to manage. This is why it’s essential to have regular eye exams, even if you don’t have any symptoms.
During an eye exam, your eye doctor can detect vision changes early and prevent complications from developing. They can also monitor the health of the blood vessels in your retina, which helps manage the progression of diabetic retinopathy.
If you have diabetes or are at risk, it’s essential to schedule an eye exam with a qualified optometrist. At the Vision Center of Lake Norman in Mooresville or Lifetime Eyecare in Newton, our experienced optometrists can help detect and treat problems early, ensuring that you maintain good eye health. Schedule an appointment with us today to protect your vision and maintain your quality of life.