Usually, a person can have many eye problems, but some eye problems can arise due to diabetes. If you are a diabetic patient, this can have serious consequences for your eyes in the form of blurred vision, cataracts, glaucoma, and retinopathy if left unchecked.
It can cause partial or complete blindness in young adults. Nevertheless, strict control of your blood sugar will prove to be effective in preventing eye complications in the long term.
In this article, Dr. Shobhan Pounikar will tell you how eye diseases are related to diabetes and what types of symptoms you can face.
What are the diseases related to the eyes?
Due to severe diabetic retinopathy, there is a risk of diseases ranging from simple problems like dry eyes to serious illnesses like blindness. Often people with diabetes are not aware of these illnesses until they completely engulf them.
1. Dry eyes:
Most people with diabetes suffer from dry eyes. However, in many people, the sensitivity of the cornea decreases because they are not aware of the dry eyes and cannot get their treatment on time. Instead of getting troubled, dry eyes should be taken seriously. If left untreated for a long time, it can be dangerous and can damage the eyes.
In diabetics, there is a greater risk of infection in the eyes. As with their eyelids, there is a possibility of infection and conjunctivitis (red eyes) in the cornea. As a precautionary measure, it is important to take care of blood sugar levels and it should be treated as soon as possible after the infection is detected.
It is the most common eye disease associated with diabetes. Vision becomes blurry due to a layer on the lens of the eye. The blurring of the lens is called a cataract. The risk of developing cataracts in diabetics is 4 times higher. People with hyperglycemia have the highest chances of getting cataract in all ages.
4. Glaucoma (glazed):
It is linked to an increase in the pressure of fluids in the eye. At first, it may not show any symptoms, but after a long time, due to the pressure on the optic nerve in the eye, there may be difficulty in seeing. About 10% of patients with glaucoma can lose their sight completely if left untreated. Glaucoma can be easily detected in the eye clinic.
5. Diabetic retinopathy:
It is the most serious eye disease associated with diabetes and also the most common cause of blindness in the diabetics. Diabetic retinopathy affects the eyes and may not cause initial symptoms. After that, the vision slowly begins to fade, and sometimes the vision may disappear completely. Three important reasons for having diabetic retinopathy are:duration of diabetes, high blood sugar, and high blood pressure (hypertension).
What are the symptoms of diabetes-related eye disease?
Often at the initial stage, there are no symptoms of diabetes-related eye disease. You don’t feel any pain and there is no change in your vision. In the initial period, the damage inside your eyes begins to increase, especially in diabetic retinopathy.
Some of the symptoms can be:
- Blurry or wavy vision
- Vision that changes frequently
- Visibility or loss of vision in dark areas
- The colors are not displayed correctly
- Spots or black wires
If you experience any of these problems, contact your eye doctor.
When to contact the doctor?
Managing diabetics properly is the best way to prevent vision loss. If you have diabetes, be sure to go to an ophthalmologist at least once a year to have your eyes tested, even if your eyesight is good.
Diabetic retinopathy can get worse during pregnancy, so if you’re pregnant, your doctor may recommend additional eye tests during your pregnancy. If your vision suddenly changes or becomes blurry, contact your eye doctor immediately.
What is the treatment for diabetic eye disease?
For most people with diabetes, your doctor may recommend a complete eye exam once a year. This includes managing diabetes, including your A1C, blood pressure, and cholesterol. Along with this, you are also advised to quit smoking. Ask your healthcare team what you can do to reach your goals.
Your doctor may treat your eyes with anti-VEGF medicines. These Medicines prevent the development of abnormal blood vessels in the eye. Anti-VEGF drugs can also prevent fluid leakage, which can help in the treatment of diabetic macular edema.
Anti-VEGF treatment can prevent vision loss, and its use can improve vision in some people.
Laser treatment, also called photocoagulation, involves treating your eyes with a laser beam. In this treatment, doctors usually use the drug to numb your eyes first and then start the laser procedure. Laser treatment can heal your eyes to a great extent.
One of the worst issues about degenerative eye diseases like those mentioned earlier is that it cannot be reverted once eye damage passes a certain level. Therefore, regular eye examinations and blood sugar checks must be carried out to ensure that any problems with your eyes and vision are diagnosed and treated in due time for best results.