Diabetes and Your Vision

If you have diabetes, you are at risk of losing your vision. In fact, approximately half of all people who have diabetes are at risk, simply because they do not know that they have diabetes. One in four people who have diabetes will experience vision problems.

There are many things that can go wrong with your vision when you have diabetes. First, people who have diabetes are more likely to have cataracts at a younger age. Diabetes also doubles the risk of developing glaucoma. The biggest problem, however, is the fact that diabetes can lead to diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy is the most common cause of blindness in people under the age of 65.

Diabetic retinopathy occurs when the blood vessels that feed the retina weaken and begin to leak. This causes the retina to swell, which impairs vision. Vision will first change by becoming blurry. As the problem grows, the circulation in those blood vessels keeps the retina from receiving oxygen. They vessels will eventually become completely blocked, causing vital parts of the retina to essentially die and stop functioning.

If you are diabetic, it is a good idea to have your vision checked yearly, and to be tested for diabetic retinopathy every three to five years. There is treatment for diabetic retinopathy, however the best option is to keep your blood sugar levels in check and avoid it altogether.

Diabetic retinopathy is a direct result of the problems in the circulatory system that result from diabetes. If you are following your doctor’s advice and eating right and exercising, the chances of developing diabetic retinopathy, as well as many other diabetes-associated health problems, can be avoided, or at the very least delayed for numerous years.

Make sure that your eye doctor is aware that you are diabetic, so that he knows what to be on the lookout for. Also, ask your eye doctor to send a copy of your files, including additions made to those files in the future, to your medical doctor for evaluation.