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Are you at risk for Diabetic Eye Disease?

Unfortunately, diabetes is extremely common. A lot of people don't know just how much it can affect patients. For example, diabetes increases the likelihood of ending up with a number of eye-related diseases. Generally, these include diabetic retinopathy, cataracts and glaucoma, and also many other conditions that, even when seemingly unrelated to your sight, can still effect the health of the eye, and your vision.

Diabetic retinopathy, which occurs when high blood glucose levels cause harm to the retina. It can also lead to blindness in adults.

Cataracts, which are fairly common in old age, and which create a clouding of the eye's lens, and the subsequent worsening of vision, tend to develop sooner in diabetes sufferers.

Your chances of developing glaucoma, another condition that can seriously impair your vision, double when you've got diabetes. This disease results in optic nerve damage, and this can lead to loss of vision. If it goes untreated, the damage can lead to blindness.

Anyone with diabetes, type 1 or 2, are at increased chance of developing diabetic eye disease. The risk is even higher if the diabetes is uncontrolled. Additional risks include obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, poor diet and exercise, and smoking.

Symptoms of diabetic eye diseases generally shift with blood sugar levels. These generally include:

  • Double vision
  • Eye pain
  • Blurred vision and blind spots
  • Seeing floaters, or shadow in the field of view
  • Trouble with near vision
  • Corneal abrasions

It is really important to note that the onset of diabetic eye disease can occur before symptoms are noticed.

Early detection can often mean the difference between keeping and losing vision, and is often central to avoiding further vision loss and restoration of sight. With this is mind, it is strongly advised that those with diabetes have a yearly eye exam, to make certain that everything is okay. If you have diabetes, it's so important to be sure you are informed about how to steer clear of diabetic eye disease. Annual eye exams, coupled with positive lifestyle habits, can save your vision.