Diabetic Eye disease

Diabetic Eye Disease: Protecting Your Vision with the Right Precautions

Understanding Diabetic Eye Diseases

Diabetic is a chronic condition that increases numerous health problems, like heart disease, nerve damage, and eye issues. Uncontrolled blood sugar can be chaotic for the eyes and vision. Colors start to fade, vision becomes blurred, and it becomes difficult for you to read.

On the other hand, diabetic eye disease is a group of eye problems that merely affects people with diabetes. People with diabetes frequently damage their vision. You might be aware that as blood glucose levels rise, there is an increased risk of diabetes.

Diabetic retinopathy is common after a certain age in diabetic patients. But let me tell you, this is serious; chances are there that blood vessels in the retina get affected. Also, leaking fluid and clogging up of the blood in the vessels are serious signs that this diabetic eye disease can bring.

Not only diabetic retinopathy, but diabetic macular edema (DME), cataracts, and glaucoma are often developed in people with diabetes. Learn about how this complication can be reduced by early detection and prevention.

Different Types of diabetic disease

Insulin is a key regulator for blood sugar levels in your body, but this level is significantly affected by diabetes. The insulin level changes differently depending on the type of diabetes.

1. Type 1 diabetes:

In type 1 diabetes, the immune system attacks and destroys insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. The body produces a comparatively smaller amount of insulin. Because of this, blood sugar levels rise, glucose is not absorbed properly by the cells, and overall blood sugar levels are affected.

2. Type 2 diabetes:

In Type 2 diabetes, the body becomes resistant to insulin. Though the pancreas secretes sufficient insulin, the cells become less responsive to the signals of insulin. This process becomes a barrier to the uptake of glucose levels in the body.

3. Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes is a condition that arises during pregnancy when the placenta interferes with insulin’s action. It is similar to type 2 diabetes in terms of insulin resistance. Early detection of such diabetics not only ensures a healthy pregnancy but also prevents any other related health issues.

Why is it essential to early detect your diabetic eye disease?

Detecting your diabetic eye disease early on is important. Before it is too late, don’t let diabetics steal your precious sight. Vision loss, once gone, is difficult to retrace and regain. Early detection can help you access effective treatment options earlier and prevent or reduce the risk of developing diabetic eye disease.

There are ways through which you can take your self-care. Manage your blood sugar, follow a healthy lifestyle, and take eye exams at regular intervals if you have already been diagnosed with diabetes. Ophthalmologists hereafter can warn you about your vision and recognize your potential symptoms.

How does diabetes affect your eyes?

Diabetes gradually impacts vision. High glucose levels can cause swelling in the tissues of your eyes. It also changes fluid levels in the eyes, making it difficult to focus and resulting in blurry vision.

Weak blood vessels would leak and even bleed inside the middle part of the eye. Scarring in the eyes and high pressure in the eyes are quite common. Learn in detail about different types of diabetic eye disease, like:

1. Diabetic retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is an eye disease where the blood vessels weaken, bulge, and leak into the retina. The inner lining at the back of each eye and the retina also get impacted. In compensation, the eyes try to grow new blood vessels.

In the early stages of diabetic retinopathy, your blood vessels weaken. This is an alarm that something is off.

In moderate stages, the disease progresses. Chances are, in the mid-stages of diabetic retinopathy, you might experience blurry vision and floaters (dark spots in the eyes). You will face difficulty focusing and seeing things clearly at night. Your vision is generally distorted at this stage.

Advanced stages of diabetic retinopathy can lead to serious vision loss if left untreated. Chances of blindness can result, with leaking fluid and blood and swelling in the macula, and your visual landscape is no longer vibrant. Diabetic retinopathy can be managed in the early stages with the following tips:

  • Regularly exercise to lose weight
  • Intake of low-glycemic foods, lean protein, and healthy fats
  • Include fiber-rich vegetables, and avoid carbonated drinks and processed foods
  • Take your prescribed diabetes medication consistently
  • Regularly optimize your vision and have eye exams

2. Diabetic Macular Edema

Macular edema resulting from diabetes damages the delicate blood vessels in the macula. The spaces between cells are now occupied by fluid due to some leakages, and disruption in the flow of visual information to the brain occurs, resulting in blurry vision.

Now, people with macular edema see blurred, fuzzy images and have difficulty reading and recognizing faces. It does not impact your eyes permanently, and with regular eye care, chances of restoring vision do exist.

3. Cataracts

People with diabetes have an increased risk of developing cataracts, but with prevention, the chances of avoiding cloudy vision like cataracts are possible. Cataracts are an eye condition when protein builds up in the lens, making it difficult to pass light to the retina.

Thus, visual information is not signaled to the brain, as the process itself is disturbed. You can treat cataracts through early detection. Even surgery can remove cloudy lenses and restore your vision with artificial lens

So, how can you delay the development of cataracts in the eyes and reduce their risk, if you are living with diabetes? Here, we present some tips.

  • Control your blood sugar level
  • Have comprehensive eye exams at regular intervals
  • Tune into healthy life choices
  • Perform yoga and Exercise regularly
  • If possible, avoid smoking

Risk Factors of Diabetic Eye Disease

The risk factors for diabetes eyes prevail. You need to acknowledge the early warning signs until the sweet thing gets bitter and offers you no mercy. The risk factors associated with diabetes are:

  1. Uncontrolled blood sugar is delicate blood vessels in the eyes, which one needs to be careful of.
  2. High blood pressure can increase the risk of damage to blood vessels in the eyes
  3. Even smoking is another risk factor that adversely affects diabetic eye disease.
  4. If there is a lineage of diabetes, you are more susceptible to eye damage, so be extra careful when choosing a diet.
  5. If you are living with diabetes, the risk of developing eye complications increases as the disease progresses.

Warning Signs of Diabetic Eye Disease

Diabetic eye disease is creating havoc. And there are certain warning signs one need not ignore to preserve their vision and eyesight. What are those signs?  Have a look at them once.

1. Blurry vision:

When you start to have blurry vision out of nowhere, remember that your eyes are susceptible to damage and diabetic eye disease.

2. Floaters

Floaters are the dark spots and cobwebs in the eyes, which are a red flag for your vision. It is not healthy for you to have these floaters, which seem harmless but are risky to long-term vision, also causing blindness.

3. Changes in Night vision

Whenever you have diabetic eye disease, a subtle sign of early eye damage is struggling to read in dim light. Even, basic navigation starts to get tough as your ability to cope with night vision becomes poor.

4. Sudden vision loss

Earning sign? What could be more serious than suddenly losing your vision? This condition needs immediate medical attention, as your eyes are precious things you should not compromise.

Treatment Options and Prognosis of Diabetic Eye Disease

When we educate ourselves about the treatment options and prognosis of eye disease resulting from diabetes, we are one step closer to healthy eyes. For every problem, the medical world has a solution if you adhere to one. But it’s still better to prevent it in the early stages. Take a look at treatment options,

1. Laser Therapy

Laser treatment is done to treat new blood vessels in your advanced stage of diabetic retinopathy. It takes about 20 to 40 minutes to treat the eyes and restore vision. Certain risks and side effects are also seen in this condition, so aftercare is necessary.

2. Anti-VEGF Injections

Proliferative cases are treated with anti-VEGF eye injections. Concentrated doses are given to the eyes with medicines like ranibizumab (Lucentis) and aflibercept (Eylea). These medications help reduce the problems in your eyes and delay the development of serious eye conditions.

3. Steroid implants

Steroid implants are done to treat complications of diabetes, like macular edema. Intravitreal implants are inserted, which contain a steroid medicine called dexamethasone. The implant eventually dissolves and gives relief to your eye condition.

4. Vitrectomy

Vitrectomy is eye surgery done to treat problems in the retina and vitreous. The surgery is performed to remove a vitreous, gel-like substance in the middle portion of the eye. After removal, it is replaced with another solution. This is an advanced stage defender for vision when your eye does not react to laser treatment and eye injections.

Conclusion

Before diabetic eye disease shadows your vision, protect your precious vision. The silent threat of uncontrolled blood sugar can often trigger warning signs like floaters, blurry vision, cloudy vision, and sudden vision loss.

Take charge of your diabetes with a healthy lifestyle and medically adhere to the condition; don’t wait until symptoms start to get serious. There are also certain treatment options, like laser therapy, anti-VGEF injections, steroid implants, and vitrectomy.

Diabetic eye disease can steal your sight without your knowledge. But you can prevent it. Don’t let diabetes dim your vision. Schedule an eye exam today with Vision Concern!

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