Diabetes is a condition that occurs when your body is not able to process food as energy. Your body does not respond to insulin or produce it. Insulin is a hormone that delivers blood sugar in the form of glucose to the cells in the body.
When your body is unable to assimilate glucose, it remains outside the cells or in the bloodstream. Having too much glucose in your bloodstream can damage your nerves and the blood vessels. The damage can spread throughout your body, even to your eyes.
Impact on Eyesight
When diabetes impacts eyesight, it results in different conditions that doctors refer to as diabetic eye disease. These conditions include cataracts, glaucoma, macular edema, and diabetic retinopathy. Over time, the damage from these conditions can lead to poor vision and blindness.
To prevent vision loss, you should take care of your diabetes and go for regular eye exams. Regular eye exams will help your doctor catch any disease or condition before it progresses too far.
Here are insights into how diabetes impacts your eyesight.
The retina is a lining found in the inner back part of the eye. It is the part that senses light and turns it into messages that your brain can decode. When the brain decodes the messages or images, it allows you to see the world around you. When diabetes damages your blood vessels, it can also harm the retina. When it harms the retina, it causes a disease doctors refer to as diabetic retinopathy.
Diabetic retinopathy causes blood vessels to weaken and leak into the retina. There is also the growth of new, abnormal blood vessels on the retina’s surface. The new, abnormal vessels can lead to irreversible vision problems. Even though diabetic retinopathy is irreversible, some treatments can slow it down.
Glaucoma is a group of conditions that damage the optic nerve. Diabetes puts you at high risk of getting glaucoma that leads to vision loss. Pressure builds inside the eye when fluid does not drain. The buildup of pressure causes damage to blood vessels and nerves, causing vision changes. The symptoms of glaucoma depend on which type you have.
The natural eye lens is clear and provides sharp vision. But as you age, it tends to become cloudy. Diabetes increases your chances of this happening sooner rather than later. Research shows that this is because of the high glucose levels. They cause a buildup of deposits on the natural lenses, making them cloudy faster than in people without diabetes.
The macula is part of the retina in your eye. Its location is in the center of the retina, and it is responsible for our central vision and most of our color vision. It helps you read, drive, and see faces.
Diabetes causes the swelling of this part of the eye and progressively destroys sharp vision. It results in partial or total vision loss.
For more information on how diabetes impacts eyesight, visit TMS Eyecare at our offices in Wichita or Arkansas City, Kansas. You can also call (316) 669-4760, (316) 686-7212, or (620) 442-2577 to book an appointment today.