Eye Complications of Diabetes
Diabetics do not process sugars and starches though their systems like other individuals. These substances stay within their system and enter the blood stream. The high amounts of sugars in their blood, also called glucose, is called glycemia. Glycemia is a condition when someone has an elevated amount of blood glucose. This is often determined by a blood test. People with diabetes have monitors and are supposed to test their blood glucose levels periodically throughout the day to monitor for glycemia.
Glycemia can cause many complications in the body of a person with diabetes. Some of the complications include those with the heart, circulation, blood vessels, kidneys and even eyesight. Because of the high blood glucose levels, a person with diabetes risks having problems with their eyesight. Eye complications of diabetes include those affecting the retina, the vitreous, the lens and the optic nerve.
Eye complications of diabetes take a long time to develop. The first is usually damage to the retina. Tiny blood vessels make up the retina and too much blood glucose cause these vessels to swell. They gradually begin to weaken and the person begins to experience vision problems. For this reason, a person with diabetes should have an eye exam once a year. During the exam, the eyes should be dilated to see if the condition has become worse.
The name for eye complications of diabetes is called diabetic retinopathy. A person with diabetes should rely on a qualified ophthalmologist who is familiar with this condition.
Some of the signs of retina damage from diabetes include blurry vision, flashing lights, dark spots in front of the eyes, pain in the eyes, or pressure and trouble with peripheral vision. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes and are experiencing any of these problems, see your ophthalmologist for a complete eye exam. There are surgeries available that can enable diabetics to be able to regain the sight in their eyes and certain treatments can prevent further damage.
One way a person with diabetes can avoid eye complications of diabetes is to become familiar with the Glycemic Index that rates different foods that should not be included in a diabetic diet. Exercise is also helpful in diabetic control as is the elimination of alcohol and smoking. Maintaining a desirable weight is crucial to managing your diabetes.
Other eye complications of diabetes include cataracts and glaucoma. While cataracts are relatively easy to cure, glaucoma is a precursor to blindness and needs to be treated. This is why it is so important that someone with diabetes manages their disease with the help of a qualified ophthalmologist.
Many eye complications of diabetes can be avoided if a person with the condition maintains a healthy lifestyle and is compliant in their diabetic treatment. Maintain your weight. Exercise. Eat a proper diet that eliminates carbohydrates and sugars and become familiar with the Glycemic Index. Avoid alcohol and do not smoke. Take prescribed medications as directed by your physician and see your physician at intervals suggested by him or her.
Monitor your blood glucose level as often as prescribed. By being compliant in the care of your disease, you can avoid eye complications of diabetes as well as other more life threatening complications of this disease.