Ways that diabetes can affect the eyes
Most people don’t associate diabetes with the eyes, when in fact it can cause serious vision problems if left undetected. Lets take a look at how diabetes could be affecting your eyes.
How does diabetes affect my eyes?
Diabetes, which occurs when your body does not produce enough insulin or doesn’t respond to the insulin that it makes, can cause a range of problems within your body - including in your eyes.
There are several types of ways that diabetes can affect the eyes - some more serious than others. These can be caused by a variety of factors including damage to the blood vessels in the retina and sugar levels affecting vision.
If not treated properly, eye conditions can lead to permanent vision loss. However, not every person with diabetes will develop problems with their eyes, but it should be monitored regularly by your optometrist.
About diabetic retinopathy
Diabetic retinopathy is the most serious problem that can arise due to diabetes. It occurs because diabetes can affect the tiny blood vessels in the eye causing them to leak which can result in blurred vision.
It is estimated that around 40 per cent of people with Type 1 diabetes and 20 per cent with Type 2 diabetes will develop some sort of diabetic retinopathy in their lifetime.
How to reduce the risk of diabetes-related eye conditions
If you have diabetes it is particularly important to have regular eye exams with your local Toowoomba optometrist. Make sure that you tell them that you have diabetes so they can take extra care to look for warning signs of diabetic retinopathy and other related diseases. They will dilate your pupils so they can have a thorough look for any changes in the retina.
Other ways that you can reduce your risk of problems include:
- Controlling your blood sugar levels
- Controlling your blood pressure
- Keeping fit and healthy, including not smoking
- Maintaining a healthy body weight
People with diabetes should be visiting their Toowoomba optometrist annually for a retinal screening.