If you were recently diagnosed with diabetes, you understand that it's vital for you to monitor and control your body's insulin levels. Did you know that it's equally important to monitor your eye health? Learn about some of the ways diabetes can affect eye health.
Blurred vision is a common concern for people who have diabetes, especially for individuals who were newly diagnosed and may be having a hard time controlling their blood sugar levels. When the body's blood sugar levels increase into a high range, the lens of your eye might swell. The increase in size distorts your view and makes everything appear blurry.
Lowering your blood sugar level will generally reduce the swelling and reduce your vision issues. However, the issue might also be an indication of an underlying problem, especially if you notice the problem when your sugar levels are stable. Speak with your ophthalmologist about the issue so that you can schedule an exam and isolate the problem.
Healthy eyes require the fluid that surrounds the eyes to be free-flowing, in that it should be able to circulate the eyes, as well as drain out when necessary. For some people with diabetes, the blood vessels that surround the iris of their eyes can enlarge. As the vessels expand, they can prevent the eye fluid from flowing and draining correctly.
The backup caused by the blocked fluid flow increases pressure around your eyes. When left untreated, the elevated pressure can lead to glaucoma. When detected early, glaucoma can be treated, but if not, it can lead to vision loss.
As previously mentioned, when your blood sugar levels are out of control, it can cause the blood vessels in your eyes to expand. As the vessels grow, they can also limit the amount of oxygen that can circulate the eye. A lack of oxygen can leave the vessels vulnerable to forming a clot or bleeding. Any scarring caused by these scenarios can cause the retina (the layer at the back of the eyeball) to separate from the eye.
A detachment of the retina, known as retinopathy, will lead to vision loss. To avoid this diagnosis, ensure that your blood sugar levels remain consistently within a safe range.
It's essential that people living with diabetes routinely visit their local ophthalmology office for a thorough exam. During the visit, the physician won't just screen your vision; they will also examine the health of your eyes to ensure the disease is managed. Make sure you commit to regular exams to protect your eye health.