Diabetic eye disease is referred to as a disease of the tiny blood vessels of the eye’s retina in people with diabetes. It covers a range of eye problems that, when left untreated, can cause loss of vision or even blindness.
Diabetes mellitus is considered one of the leading causes of irreversible blindness in the world. In the United States, it’s the only common cause for sightlessness in people below 65 years of age.
How is a diabetic eye disease developed?
Severe diabetic eye disease most often develops in people who have had diabetes mellitus for many years and have not effectively managed their blood sugar levels.
Diabetes is a disease where your glucose or sugar levels are reduced. You get glucose from the foods you eat. The hormone insulin is the one that helps glucose get into your cells to provide them energy. However, persons with diabetes lose the ability to produce the right amount of insulin that serves this purpose. A lack of insulin in the body retains the glucose in the blood, causing serious problems, including blurring of the vision and other problems in the retina.
Due to high glucose, diabetes mellitus could cause injury to the blood vessels within the body. This injury results in poor blood circulation to different parts of the body. The role of the blood is to transport oxygen and other nutrients. However, poor blood circulation negatively affects this process and deprives the organs, including the eye, causing damage to the eye.
What is diabetic retinopathy and how it affects the retina
The retina is the major part of the eye affected by diabetes mellitus. The light-sensitive tissue found at the back of the eye plays a vital role in helping you see clearly. If it’s swollen, wrinkled, or impaired, the vision of the eyes will be hazy or blurry. The alteration in the vision can vary from marginal to severe and may be temporary or permanent depending on the type, location, and extent of the damage in the retina.
The most common problem is diabetic retinopathy, the number one explanation for blindness among American adults. Diabetic retinopathy usually affects both eyes. Typically those who have diabetic retinopathy do not experience any change in their vision during the first stages of the condition. However, as it progresses, diabetic retinopathy may lead to vision loss that can’t be cured after a point.
Other eye problems include cataracts that could be a cloud over the eye’s lens and glaucoma, which occurs when pressure is formed in the eye, causing damage to the main nerve.
Preventing diabetic eye disease
If you have diabetes, do not exclude an eye test from your annuals. It will save you from additional complications like vision loss. Management of glucose is equally necessary for preventing the damage of eye tissues as soon as you identify the early signs and symptoms of diabetes.