Having diabetes affects not only your general bodily health but also your eye health. High blood sugar can cause a variety of problems, such as blurry vision, cataracts, and glaucoma. There is also a group of eye conditions that affect people with diabetes known as diabetic eye diseases. These diseases include diabetic retinopathy and diabetic macular edema (DME) in addition to cataracts and glaucoma.
Diabetic retinopathy affects blood vessels in the retina (the thin layer of tissue that lines the back of the eye). It is the most common cause of vision loss among people with diabetes. It is also the leading cause of vision impairment and blindness among working-age adults. Diabetic macular edema (DME) is a consequence of diabetic retinopathy when an area of the retina is caused to swell.
Diabetic eye disease also includes cataracts and glaucoma. A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s lens. Adults with diabetes are not only more likely to develop cataracts than those without but can also develop them at an earlier age. Glaucoma is a group of diseases that damage the eye’s optic nerve.
All forms of diabetic eye disease can potentially lead to vision loss or blindness. It is for this reason that it is especially important for people with diabetes to get their eyes checked at least once a year. Early detection and treatment of diabetic eye diseases is the best way to protect your vision.Prairie Eye Care recommends that our diabetic patients “stay on TRACK” in-between visits to one of our Winnipeg eye care clinics: *
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