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How To Manage Eye Disease Related to Diabetes with Some Tips and Treatments?

DR. ANJU NAGAR In Eye Safety

Nov 22, 2023 | 4 min read

As you all know, nowadays millions of individuals suffer from diabetes-related eye disease that affects their vision and in some severe cases, it can also lead to vision loss.

What do you understand by diabetes?

Diabetes is a common chronic disease that affects millions of people worldwide. It occurs when the body doesn’t produce enough insulin or can’t use it effectively. When there is not enough insulin or cells stop responding cells then too much blood sugar stays in your bloodstream. Over time that can cause serious health problems such as vision loss and other eye disorders, heart disease, and kidney disease.

What is diabetic eye disease?

Diabetic eye disease is a group of eye problems that can affect people with diabetes. the major eye disorders that can affect individuals with diabetes include macular edema, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and cataracts. all these conditions can damage your eye over time and cause vision loss, even blindness. However, diagnosis and treatment in the initial stage can go a long way toward protecting your eyesight.

What should you do to manage diabetic-related eye disease?

Managing your diabetes is the best way to lower the risk of your diabetic eye disease and getting regular eye exams in a reputed eye hospital can help in the prevention of vision problems and stop them from getting worse. You can do several things to keep your eye healthy and make sure you are seeing your best. Follow these simple tips to keep your eyes in good condition

  • Keep your blood sugar level in check
  • Get a comprehensive eye exam regularly
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Quit smoking
  • Know your family’s eye health history
  • Wear protective eyewear when necessary
  • Give your eyes a break from time to time
  • Eat a balanced diet to protect your sight

Remember that taking care of your eyes is crucial to maintain good vision and prevent eye problems in the long run.

Major diabetic-related eye diseases

Diabetic retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is a common eye disease that leads to blindness in many working-age adults. The disease is caused by high blood sugar, which damages the blood vessels in the retina, a light-sensitive layer of cells in the back of the eye. This damage can lead to swelling and leakage of the blood vessels, resulting in blurry vision or even a complete blockage of blood flow. Sometimes, new abnormal blood vessels may grow, which can further worsen the vision problems. It is important to note that diabetic retinopathy usually affects both eyes.

Symptoms: Blurry vision, floaters (Spots in your vision), trouble seeing colors, dark areas in your vision, vision loss

Treatments available for diabetic retinopathy

  • Vitrectomy
  • Laser therapy
  • Intravitreal injections
  • Anti-inflammatory injections

Cataract

Cataract is a condition where the lens in your eye, which is normally clear, becomes cloudy. While this happens to everyone as they age, people with diabetes are more prone to cataracts at a younger age. One of the reasons for this is that high blood sugar can lead to deposits building up in the lenses, causing them to become cloudy. Other risk factors include high blood pressure, obesity, prolonged sun exposure, and smoking. Surgery is the only way to treat cataracts, but it may not be necessary immediately. Brighter lights and anti-glare sunglasses can help in the early stages. However, if the cataracts start to interfere with your daily activities, it may be time for surgery. The good news is that cataract surgery is generally safe, and most people experience improved vision after the procedure.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that can lead to optic nerve damage due to increased pressure inside the eye. Unfortunately, many types of glaucoma do not produce any symptoms, and vision loss can progress slowly without being noticed. There are several risk factors for glaucoma, including diabetes, family history, age, and ethnicity. Diabetes can also cause neovascular glaucoma, a type of glaucoma where new and abnormal blood vessels form on the iris, blocking the flow of fluid out of the eye and increasing eye pressure. While there is no way to prevent glaucoma, early detection is crucial, and treatment options include medication, laser therapy, and surgery. It’s essential to discuss with your eye doctor which treatment options are best for you.

Schedule an eye exam

Eye-related complications are prevalent among people with diabetes, but treatments are available and effective. It is crucial to get a dilated eye exam at least once a year, as only an eye doctor can diagnose eye diseases. Early detection and treatment of eye problems are essential for maintaining good eye health.

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Written and Verified by:

 DR. ANJU NAGAR

DR. ANJU NAGAR

MBBS, MS (Ophthalmology)

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