Many people diagnosed with diabetes are often counseled to manage their blood sugar, watch their diet and control their weight. They understand the risks associated with the disease and the complications that may result.
Diabetics are at a higher risk of developing several eye diseases including diabetic retinopathy, cataracts, macular degeneration and glaucoma. All of these conditions can result in severe vision loss and even blindness.
People with long-term diabetes are at risk of developing diabetic retinopathy. This results from the damage of blood vessels in the retina. This is more likely to be more severe and occur much sooner if a person's diabetes has been left untreated or poorly managed.
Symptoms of this diabetic eye disease include blurred vision, floaters, shadows or missing areas of vision and trouble seeing at night. Those with diabetes for more than thirty years will often show signs of retinopathy but quite often, diabetic retinopathy has no symptoms until major bleeding occurs in the eye.
It is imperative diabetics have regular eye exams to detect changes in their eye health and lower the risk of severe vision loss.
Those diabetics diagnosed with this eye disease are often treated with laser surgery. This usually does nothing to reverse any damage that has already occurred but can help the eye disease from progressing.
Treatment usually occurs after your eye doctor has detected the growth of new blood vessels in your retina. These blood vessels usually exhibit abnormal growth and are fragile. These typically develop leaking that result in the damage to the retina.
By using laser eye surgery to create small burns in the retina where these abnormal vessels are spotted, it is rented to prevent the leaking or eliminate the vessels completely.
In some instances, some diabetics may require a vitrectomy if there is a large amount of blood accumulated in the center of the eye. This involves a tiny incision and removal of the vitreous gel containing the blood.
With more and more Type 2 diabetes being attributed to lifestyle choices such as diet and lack of physical activity, it is possible to reduce your risk to eye diseases such as diabetic retinopathy.
Changes in diet and increased physical activity have been shown to reverse Type 2 diabetes in many people. Improved diet and exercise also helps alleviate blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels, meaning a better quality of life in general.
Being diagnosed with diabetes is not a death sentence but understanding the risks associated with the disease, including the potential impacts on your vision is important.