If you recently received a diagnosis of diabetes, you may have also become aware that being diabetic does increase a person's risk for developing certain eye conditions. Our goal in providing diabetics with important information about the connection between diabetes and potential eye issues is to empower them to take a proactive approach to eye care. The optometrists at CV Optometry are committed to using our professional knowledge and expertise to help our diabetic patients enjoy healthy eyesight for years to come!
When a person has diabetes, it means they have too much glucose (sugar) circulating in their bloodstream. Over time, this excess sugar can damage the delicate blood vessels and nerves in a person's eyes. This damage can lead to a variety of eye conditions.
A cataract occurs when a cloudy buildup develops over the lens of the eye. This cloudy buildup can cause blurry vision. Cataracts make it more difficult to see, especially at night. Diabetics are much more likely to develop cataracts at a younger age than their non-diabetic peers, and their cataracts are likely to progress at a faster rate.
As mentioned, the high sugar levels associated with diabetes can damage the blood vessels of the eye. In response, the body attempts to grow new blood vessels, which, unfortunately, tend to grow abnormally. In turn, these abnormal blood vessels often place excessive pressure on the eye. If left untreated, the excess pressure (otherwise known as glaucoma) can eventually lead to blindness.
Even when a person receives diabetes treatment, it's not uncommon for them to experience higher-than-normal fluctuations in their blood sugar levels. These fluctuations can swell the eye lenses, leading to bouts of blurred vision. If a diabetic wants to be fitted for corrective prescription eyewear, the fluctuations in blurriness can lead to inaccurate eye prescription results.
Diabetics also have an increased risk of developing macular edema. This is a condition where the center of the retina, otherwise known as the macular, begins to swell due to leaky blood vessels. In turn, the swelling may cause a diabetic to experience distorted or blurred vision.
The nerve tissue of your eyes' retinas helps to form the images you see and pass them on to the brain for processing. Diabetics have an increased risk of developing leaky blood vessels in the retinas or growing abnormal blood vessels on retinal surfaces. When this occurs, a person is said to have diabetic retinopathy. This condition is the leading cause of blindness in adults in the U.S.
As a diabetic, when you make an appointment with one of our professional optometrists, you can rest assured you're in good hands. Our optometrists understand how important communication is in any doctor-patient relationship, and they're happy to answer all your questions.
During the appointment, your optometrist will ask if you've noticed any changes to your vision, and they'll conduct certain eye tests to determine if you're developing any of the above-mentioned eye conditions. If your optometrist does discover an issue, they have many tools at their disposal to correct the condition.
When you partner with CV Optometry to manage your eye health, you'll know you're receiving the best in professional care and advice to help support your all-important eyesight. To make an appointment with one of our highly-qualified optometrists, call or text us today at (760) 347-6636. We look forward to hearing from you!