Diabetes mellitus is associated with macular edema, cataracts and diabetic retinopathy. These are just some of the disorders that affect the quality of vision. Read on to find out how diabetes affects your eyesight.
It is a disease that, unfortunately, can worsen the condition of various organs in our body. This also applies to eyesight, which can deteriorate significantly. Read on to find out how diabetes affects your eyesight .
Diabetes is a chronic disease in which our body is unable to produce or use insulin. Insulin is the “key” that allows glucose to enter the cells from the blood. When this does not happen, blood glucose levels rise.
According to data from the World Health Organization , 422 million people worldwide struggle with diabetes. Moreover, experts believe that by 2030, diabetes will be in the seventh place on the list of the most common causes of death.
Diabetes is increasing due to inappropriate lifestyle. Diet and a sedentary lifestyle play an extremely important role in the development of this disorder, although other factors, such as genetics, also have a significant influence on it.
It is estimated that approximately 15% of people with type I diabetes and 40% of people with type II diabetes have diabetic retinopathy. This is a complication that affects the eyes and leads to gradual loss of vision. In today’s article, we will provide information on the effects of diabetes on eyesight.
How does diabetes affect eyesight?
Diabetes, as mentioned earlier, is associated with an increase in blood glucose levels. Sometimes it doesn’t have to be bad for your eyesight.
However, when diabetes is not properly controlled and glucose remains high for long periods of time, blood vessels throughout the body can become damaged. It often affects people who do not even know they have diabetes and therefore do not control it.
At first, glucose leaks into the tissues. This is how swelling is formed. This means that the area in question may start to swell due to this fluid build-up.
Poorly controlled diabetes also stimulates the formation of new blood vessels in the eye. Such blood vessels are weak, so they tend to burst and bleed. They often form around the pupil, causing eye damage.
Diabetes can also increase the pressure inside the eye. Each of these situations (increased pressure, weak vessel formation and swelling) ends up damaging your eyesight.
The following eye diseases are mainly associated with diabetes mellitus:
- Diabetic retinopathy
- Swelling of the macula
Below we will explain what each of them consists of.
Diabetic retinopathy is damage to the retina. It is the light-sensitive tissue inside the eye that enables you to see. It is a progressive disease in which, initially, small areas of inflammation appear in the blood vessels that supply blood to the retina.
Over time, these blood vessels become clogged and blood supply to the area is restricted. The lack of oxygenated blood causes the body to create new blood vessels to nourish the retina.
However, such newly formed vessels are weak and tend to break. When this happens, the presence of blood in this area causes changes in the field of view as it prevents the retina from being in a proper condition.
The most common symptoms include foggy vision or the appearance of frequent spots in the field of vision. Besides, vision is lost over time and areas where it disappears completely appear.
A cataract is the clouding of the eye lens, a clear lens that transmits light, preventing light from passing through. This is because the lens picks up excess glucose from the body and turns it into sorbitol, a substance that makes the lens cloudy as it builds up in it.
Macular edema caused by diabetes
The macula is the part of the eye that allows us to see details and is responsible for central vision. Macular edema is a build-up of fluid around the macula due to diabetes. For this reason, the process of seeing cannot proceed properly.
To sum up
Diabetes can affect vision in many ways, which translates into numerous eye diseases. That is why taking care of yourself and going to the doctor in case of any questions is so important . Glucose levels should be closely monitored to avoid these situations.