How Can Diabetes Affect The Eye?
Diabetes can affect the eyes in a number of ways. The most serious eye condition with diabetes involves the retina, and, more specifically, the network of blood vessels lying within it.The name of this condition is diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic Retinopathy Diabetic retinopathy is usually graded according to how severe it is. The three main stages: Background diabetic retinopathy This condition is in people who have had diabetes for a long time, vision will be normal with no threat to your sight. Maculopathy If background diabetic retinopathy becomes more severe, the macula area may become involved - Maculopathy - if this happens your central vision will gradually get worse. The amount of central vision varies from person to person. Maculopathy is the main cause of loss of vision and may occur gradually but progressively. It is rare to lose all your sight. Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy As the eye condition worsens, it can sometimes cause the blood vessels in the retina to become blocked, then, new vessels will form in the eye - Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy. The new vessels can be weak and can grow in the wrong place. As a result the vessels can bleed and cause scar tissue to form in the eye. The scarring pulls and distorts the retina, which can result in a retinal detachment. Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy is rarer than background retinopathy. The new vessels rarely affect your vision, but their consequences may cause your vision to get worse. Visual loss in this case is often sudden and severe. Your vision may become blurred and patchy. Without treatment, total loss of vision may happen. The importance of early treatment As most sight loss due to diabetes is preventable, remember: Early diagnosis is vital Have an eye examination every year - eye examinat Continue reading >>
Eye Damage With Diabetes
Diabetes that isn't under control can damage your eyes. These are types of eye damage that can occur with diabetes. Swelling of the Eye Lens Blurred vision is a common sign of diabetes that isn't under control. When blood sugar levels are high for a long time, body water is pulled into the lens, causing it to swell. It will take about six weeks, after getting blood sugar levels closer to normal, for the swelling to go away completely. People with diabetes shouldn't get new glasses or contacts until their blood sugar levels have been under good control for at least two months. If you get new glasses or contacts before the swelling goes down, the prescription will fit the swollen eye lens. After the swelling is gone, the prescription won't work any more. Weakened Blood Vessels Even though blurred vision is a sign that something is wrong with the lens of the eye, the worst damage happens to the blood vessels in the retina, in the back of the eye. After many years of high blood sugar levels, the walls of the blood vessels in the retina become weak and thin. The weak areas can bulge out and form pouches called micro-aneurysms. These weak, thinning areas can leak a fatty protein called exudate. If exudate leaks into the center of the retina, in an area called the macula, it will cause swelling, making it hard to see. When this condition goes untreated, it causes changes in your vision that can be permanent. Damage to the Retina Damage can sometimes go unnoticed until it leads to serious vision problems. This damage is called retinopathy, which means disease of the retina. Blood can leak out of the weak blood vessels in the retina and cause hemorrhages, called early diabetes retinopathy or background diabetes retinopathy. The hemorrhages get worse if blood vessels in the eye b Continue reading >>
Blurry Vision And Diabetes: What's The Connection?
Blurry vision is being unable to see the fine details. Another way of describing it is seeing a lack of sharpness. Blurred eyesight is similar to seeing things as if they are in the out-of-focus parts of a photograph. The blurriness can be subtle or obvious, can change through the day, and can come on slowly or quickly. It depends on the cause. Diabetes can cause blurry vision for a variety of reasons. Both short-term and long-term complications can affect the vision of someone with diabetes. Contents of this article: How does diabetes affect the eyes? Long-term uncontrolled diabetes can lead to high blood sugar levels that cause damage to small blood vessels over time. This damage can lead to problems with part of the eye called the retina which can create blurred vision. Short-term blurriness in people with diabetes is due to a different cause. Fluid shifts into and out of the eye due to high blood sugar levels, causing the lens of the eye to swell. This change in its shape causes blurriness as the lens is the part that focuses light onto the back of the eye. This short-term issue will resolve once blood sugar levels are lowered. Can diabetes treatment cause blurriness? Diabetes can also cause short-term blurriness if blood sugar levels fall too low (hypoglycemia). This can happen due to the timing of food or a change in activity levels in people who take medication that increases insulin in the body. Rather than being caused by changes in the eye, blurriness from low blood sugars is caused by the effects of hypoglycemia on the brain. Vision affected in this way will return to normal after glucose levels return to normal. Is blurry vision with diabetes temporary? As stated above, blurry vision can be caused by both short-term and long-term complications of diabetes. L Continue reading >>
Diabetes And Your Eyes, Heart, Nerves, Feet, And Kidneys
Diabetes is a serious disease that can affect your eyes, heart, nerves, feet and kidneys. Understanding how diabetes affects your body is important. It can help you follow your treatment plan and stay as healthy as possible. If your diabetes is not well controlled, the sugar level in your blood goes up. This is called “hyperglycemia” (high blood sugar). High blood sugar can cause damage to very small blood vessels in your body. Imagine what happens to sugar when it is left unwrapped overnight. It gets sticky. Now imagine how sugar “sticks” to your small blood vessels and makes it hard for blood to get to your organs. Damage to blood vessels occurs most often in the eyes, heart, nerves, feet, and kidneys. Let’s look at how this damage happens. Eyes. Having high levels of sugar in your blood for a long time can harm the tiny blood vessels in your eyes. This can result in vision problems or blindness. Heart. High blood sugar may also harm larger blood vessels in your body that supply oxygen to your heart and brain. Fat can build up in the blood vessels as well. This can lead to a heart attack or stroke. Nerves. Nerves carry important messages between your brain and other parts of your body. Having high levels of sugar in your blood for many years can damage the blood vessels that bring oxygen to some nerves. Damaged nerves may stop sending pain signals. Feet. Diabetes can harm your feet in two ways. First, it can damage your body’s nerves. Nerve damage stops you from feeling pain or other problems in your feet. Another way that diabetes can cause damage to your feet is from poor blood circulation. Poor blood flow makes it hard for a sore or infection to heal. If sores don’t heal and get infected, it can lead to amputation. Kidneys. Think of your kidneys like Continue reading >>
High blood pressure can damage the eyes and must be treated. With regular effective eye screening, eye complications can be caught early and successfully treated and managed by an eye doctor. You should have retinopathy tests regularly. If you have either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes please freephone 1800 45 45 55 to check if you are on the Diabetic RetinaScreen register. If you are not your GP (family doctor) can register you by ringing 1800 45 45 55. The retina The retina can be compared to a camera film the area where the picture of the surrounding world is generated. The small blood vessels, which feed the retina, may be affected by diabetes. In the early stages, small vessels may close down, and become leaky. Small bleeding points can be seen on the retina. As the condition progresses, some parts of the eye are left without enough blood. Over time, new vessels develop to overcome this, but they are fragile and tend to bleed. If retinal disease is not detected and treated early, the retina can actually come away from the back of the eye, and vision is lost completely. Diabetes and your eyes When your diabetes was first diagnosed you may have had blurred vision because of high blood sugar levels. It is not appropriate to change your glasses until your blood sugar is stabilized, as the prescription will continue to change until the diabetes is under control. Eye complications can be limited by keeping your blood sugar and blood pressure within your target range. You will not feel the early changes of eye complications, so it is important that they are detected in good time. Regular check-ups allow your eyes to be monitored and detect problems early, so they can be treated. When diabetes affects the small blood vessels supplying the back of the eye (the retina), your visi Continue reading >>
Diabetic Eye Problems
If you have diabetes, your blood glucose, or blood sugar, levels are too high. Over time, this can damage your eyes. The most common problem is diabetic retinopathy. It is a leading cause of blindness in American adults. Your retina is the light-sensitive tissue at the back of your eye. You need a healthy retina to see clearly. Diabetic retinopathy damages the tiny blood vessels inside your retina. You may not notice it at first. Symptoms can include Blurry or double vision Rings, flashing lights, or blank spots Dark or floating spots Pain or pressure in one or both of your eyes Trouble seeing things out of the corners of your eyes Treatment often includes laser treatment or surgery, with follow-up care. Two other eye problems can happen to people with diabetes. A cataract is a cloud over the lens of your eye. Surgery helps you see clearly again. Glaucoma happens when pressure builds up in the eye, damaging the main nerve. Eye drops or surgery can help. If you have diabetes, you should have a complete eye exam every year. Finding and treating problems early may save your vision. NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Continue reading >>
How Diabetes Affects Your Eyes And Vision
You know that having high blood sugar from diabetes can affect many body systems, but how does it affect your eyes? Over time, having high blood sugar from diabetes can cause complications with the tiny blood vessels in the eyes. Eventually, these complications can lead to permanent vision loss, low vision or less commonly, blindness. By managing your diabetes and monitoring your eye health, you can take steps toward preventing or minimizing diabetic eye disease. How can I prevent eye complications or stop them from getting worse? Catching and treating eye problems early is the best way to prevent vision loss. Having a comprehensive exam done by a professional such as an ophthalmologist at least once a year is recommended for everybody with diabetes. An ophthalmologist is a specialist that can diagnose and treat eye disease. If you already have diabetic eye disease, you may need an exam more often. Talk to your eye care professional about which frequency is recommended for you. Controlling your blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol when you have diabetes are other important steps you can take toward protecting your eye health and your overall health. Unmanaged blood pressure and cholesterol can make complications progress faster when you have diabetes. Visit your doctor regularly for check-ups to be sure you are properly managing your diabetes. How does diabetes affect my eyes and vision? Diabetes can cause different types of eye problems. The retina, which is a tissue that lines the back of the eye, is commonly affected by diabetes. High blood sugar can damage the blood vessels in the retina, a condition called diabetic retinopathy. Retinopathy has different stages, depending on how severe it is. Other conditions, such as detached retina and macular edema, can h Continue reading >>
The Eyes And Diabetes
Tweet The human eye is a small but complex organ that enables us to see the world around us. However, damage to the eyes can put our sight at risk. The most common cause of blindness among people in the UK is a condition called retinopathy, which is caused by damage to the retina – the 'seeing' part at the back of the eye. Most people affected by this are those who have diabetes, as retina damage can be caused by high levels of blood glucose, among other things. About the eyes The eye is a slightly irregular shaped sphere that consists of the following: The iris - the pigmented part of the eye The pupil - the black circular opening in the iris that lets light in The lens - the part behind the iris that helps to focus light on the back of the eye The cornea - a clear dome over the iris The conjunctiva - an invisible, clear layer of tissue covering the front of the eye, except the cornea The retina - delicate light-sensitive tissue at the back of your eye The sclera - the white part of your eye How your eye works When we look at something, a number of processes take place before we are able to actually "see". Firstly, light passes through the pupil and is focused by the cornea and lens onto the retina. The retina converts the light into electrical signals, which are then carried to the brain via the optic nerve. The brain then interprets these signals to produce the images that you see. Another important part of the human eye is the macula. It is a small, sensitive area within the retina that provides our central vision, i.e. allows us to focus for activities such as reading and writing, and to recognise colours. It is also essential for clear, detailed vision. How diabetes affects the eyes Diabetes can lead to the development of a number of eye conditions, which can af Continue reading >>
Facts About Diabetic Eye Disease
Points to Remember Diabetic eye disease comprises a group of eye conditions that affect people with diabetes. These conditions include diabetic retinopathy, diabetic macular edema (DME), cataract, and glaucoma. All forms of diabetic eye disease have the potential to cause severe vision loss and blindness. Diabetic retinopathy involves changes to retinal blood vessels that can cause them to bleed or leak fluid, distorting vision. Diabetic retinopathy is the most common cause of vision loss among people with diabetes and a leading cause of blindness among working-age adults. DME is a consequence of diabetic retinopathy that causes swelling in the area of the retina called the macula. Controlling diabetes—by taking medications as prescribed, staying physically active, and maintaining a healthy diet—can prevent or delay vision loss. Because diabetic retinopathy often goes unnoticed until vision loss occurs, people with diabetes should get a comprehensive dilated eye exam at least once a year. Early detection, timely treatment, and appropriate follow-up care of diabetic eye disease can protect against vision loss. Diabetic retinopathy can be treated with several therapies, used alone or in combination. NEI supports research to develop new therapies for diabetic retinopathy, and to compare the effectiveness of existing therapies for different patient groups. What is diabetic eye disease? Diabetic eye disease can affect many parts of the eye, including the retina, macula, lens and the optic nerve. Diabetic eye disease is a group of eye conditions that can affect people with diabetes. Diabetic retinopathy affects blood vessels in the light-sensitive tissue called the retina that lines the back of the eye. It is the most common cause of vision loss among people with diabetes Continue reading >>
Glaucoma And Diabetes: Can Diabetes Affect Your Eyes?
People with diabetes are twice as likely to be at risk of having glaucoma compared to people without diabetes. We will first look at how the eye works, what glaucoma is, followed by the relationship between glaucoma and diabetes. Clara’s story Clara’s eyes were feeling tired all of the time. She was attributing the tiredness to her Type 2 diabetes, but she wasn’t too sure about it. That’s why she contacted TheDiabetesCouncil to raise her concerns about the increasing pressure in her eyes. Her left eye had suddenly become red, and she was experiencing sharp pain in her eyes. She had somewhat of a headache, too. After hearing about Clara’s symptoms, she was advised to see her eye doctor for an examination, as glaucoma was suspected. Clara got in touch with us to report that she had been to her ophthalmologist, and she had been diagnosed with the most common type of glaucoma, open-angle glaucoma. She was using some drops in both eyes, and she relayed that she was feeling better, and that the pain in her eye and other symptoms have subsided. To help others in Clara’s situation, we have written this comprehensive guide about glaucoma and diabetes. How does the eye work? If you want to understand eye diseases, specifically glaucoma, it’s important to understand how the eye operates. It’s an incredible, wonderful organ! Without our eyes, we could not see the world around us. The eye is a spherically shaped organ that has a tough outer surface. The covering in the front of the eye is curvy. This covering is called the cornea. The cornea is responsible for focusing light. It also serves to protect the eye. Light makes its way through the eye by way of the anterior chamber. In this chamber, there is fluid called aqueous humor that the light travels through. Light Continue reading >>
Slideshow: Diabetic Retinopathy And Other Diabetes Eye Problems
Yes. You should plan to make regular eye doctor visits when you have diabetes. High blood sugar can lead to problems like blurry vision, cataracts, glaucoma, and retinopathy. In fact, diabetes is the primary cause of blindness in adults ages 20 to 74. Don't buy new glasses as soon as you notice that things look blurry. It could just be a small problem caused by high blood sugar. Your lens could swell, which changes your ability to see. To correct it, you need to get your blood sugar back into the target range (70-130 milligrams per deciliter, or mg/dL, before meals, and less than 180 mg/dL 1 to 2 hours after a meal). It may take as long as 3 months for your vision to fully get back to normal. Do tell your eye doctor. She can let you know if this is a symptom of a more serious problem. The lens allows your eye to see and focus on an image, just like a camera. Cataracts cloud your normally clear lens with debris. Anyone can get them, but people with diabetes tend to get them earlier, and they get worse faster. When part of your lens is cloudy, your eye can’t focus like it should. You won't see as well. Symptoms include blurred vision and glare. You’ll need surgery to remove a cataract. The doctor replaces the cloudy lens with an artificial one. Pressure builds up inside your eye when fluid can’t drain like it should. This can damage nerves and blood vessels, and cause changes in vision. Medications can treat open-angle glaucoma, the most common form. They lower eye pressure, speed up drainage, and reduce the amount of liquid your eye makes. (Your doctor will call this aqueous humor.) *CGM-based treatment requires fingersticks for calibration, if patient is taking acetaminophen, or if symptoms/expectations do not match CGM readings, and if not performed, may result i Continue reading >>
Diabetes And Diabetic Retinopathy: Q&a
Q&A Menu To find the Q&As most helpful to you, please click on one of these subjects: How Does Diabetes Affect Eyes? Q: How does diabetes affect your eyes? — L.L., Connecticut A: Diabetes causes problems in the retina with what are collectively called microvascular abnormalities. The small blood vessels develop microaneurysms and leak blood. New blood vessel growth (neovascularization) occurs. Unfortunately, these blood vessels are weak and also leak. These leaks (hemorrhages) can cause irreversible damage to the retina and permanent vision loss. Patients with controlled diabetes do better than those with uncontrolled diabetes. However, even a person whose diabetes is under perfect control can still develop diabetic retinopathy — hence, the need for yearly retinal exams. — Dr. Slonim Q: Does diabetic retinopathy get progressively worse? — F.R. A: Yes. When left unrecognized and untreated, diabetic retinopathy can get worse and eventually lead to blindness. Diabetic retinopathy can even get worse despite use of the best treatments that currently exist for it. — Dr. Slonim Q: My father has type 2 diabetes and he is seeing double. We went to the hospital about a week ago and they said the diabetes had affected a nerve on the right eye. Can medicine get his sight back to normal? — W.C. A: Diabetes can affect any one of the three cranial nerves that are responsible for movement of the eyes. Diabetes is one of the more common conditions associated with sixth nerve (Abducens nerve) palsies. Paralysis of this nerve affects the lateral rectus muscle that allows the eye to look outward. There is no specific medicine for this. The paralysis can be temporary and last a few months or it can be permanent. — Dr. Slonim Q: Can diabetes cause you to have eye infections suc Continue reading >>
Which Lens Is Suitable For Diabetic Patient In Cataract Surgery?
Uncontrolled Diabetes and Cataract Surgery: Reviewing the Risks How Cataract Surgery Works Surgical procedures remove cataracts from the eye before implanting an intraocular lens (IOL). The lens serves to improve a patient’s vision by focusing light onto the retina. However, unmanaged blood sugar reduces the accuracy of intraocular lenses and may increase the risk of post-surgical complications. In addition, high blood sugar levels slow the healing process and prolong recovery times. 4 Cataract Surgery Risks for Patients with Uncontrolled Diabetes: Many diabetic patients experience positive results after cataract surgery, but only if blood sugar levels are adequately managed. Despite other risks identified by a physician, the following concerns are most common when a patient with unmanaged diabetes is considering cataract surgery: Suppressed immune system increases surgical risk. Type 1 and 2 diabetes can limit the immune system’s ability to fight off infection. Though more prevalent in individuals with type 1 diabetes, immune suppression is also seen in patients with type 2 diabetes when blood sugar levels are not under control. When considering surgery and the need to recover, it’s important to take a patient’s immune system health into account. Intraocular lens prescription may be incorrect. Before performing cataract surgery, an ophthalmologist must determine the prescription strength of the intraocular lens to be implanted. Due to the effect of diabetes on the eye, including increased intraocular pressure, the chosen prescription may not adequately correct vision after cataract surgery. Other disorders affect final outcome. Uncontrolled diabetes affects intraocular pressure, leading to a worsening of diabetes-related vision disorders, such as diabetic retin Continue reading >>
Vision Facts For Children With Diabetes
Diabetes mellitus (mel-i-tuhs) is a disorder caused by a decreased production of insulin or by the body’s inability to use insulin. Insulin is produced by the pancreas and is necessary for the body’s control of blood sugar. Fluctuations in blood sugar can be harmful to the body, including the eyes. Type 1 diabetes (insulin-dependent or juvenile diabetes) can occur at any age, but most commonly is diagnosed from infancy to the late 30s. In this type of diabetes, a person's pancreas produces little or no insulin. Children with diabetes are at risk of developing eye disease that can affect their vision. Diabetic eye disease refers to a group of eye problems that affects those with diabetes. Diabetic eye disease may include: Diabetic retinopathy (ret-in-AHP-uh-thee) A potentially blinding condition in which the blood vessels inside the retina become damaged from the high blood sugar levels associated with diabetes. This leads to the leakage of fluids into the retina and the obstruction of blood flow. Both may cause vision loss. Diabetic retinopathy is the most common and most serious eye-related complication of diabetes. It is a progressive disease that destroys small blood vessels in the retina, eventually causing vision problems. In its most advanced form (known as “proliferative retinopathy”) it can cause blindness. Nearly all people with juvenile (type 1) diabetes show some symptoms of diabetic retinopathy usually after about 20 years of living with diabetes; approximately 20 to 30 percent of them developed the advanced form. Those with type 2 diabetes are also at increased risk. Cataract (kat-uh-rakt) A clouding of the normally clear lens of the eye. It can be compared to a window that is frosted or yellowed. Cataract may occur at a younger age in diabetic pati Continue reading >>
Diabetes And Blurry Vision: What You Need To Know
Diabetes and blurry vision Diabetes refers to a complex metabolic disease in which your body either can’t produce insulin, doesn’t produce enough insulin, or simply can’t use it efficiently. All your body’s cells need sugar (glucose) for energy. Insulin helps to break down and deliver sugar to cells throughout your body. Sugar levels build up in your blood if you don’t have enough insulin to break it down. This is known as hyperglycemia. Hyperglycemia can negatively affect every part of your body, including your eyes. Blurry vision is often one of the first warning signs of diabetes. Your vision may be blurry because fluid is leaking into the lens of your eye. This makes the lens swell and change shape. Those changes make it hard for your eyes to focus, so things start to look fuzzy. You may also get blurred vision when you start insulin treatment. This is due to shifting fluids, but it generally resolves after a few weeks. For many people, as blood sugar levels stabilize, so does their vision. How can diabetes cause blurry vision? Diabetic retinopathy is a term that describes retinal disorders caused by diabetes. Some of these disorders include macular edema and proliferative retinopathy. Macular edema is when the macula swells due to leaking fluid. The macula is the part of the retina that gives you sharp central vision. Other symptoms of macular edema include wavy vision and color changes. Proliferative retinopathy is when blood vessels leak into the center of your eye. Blurry vision is one of the signs that this is happening. You may also experience spots or floaters, or have trouble with night vision. Blurry vision can also be a symptom of glaucoma, a disease in which pressure in your eye damages the optic nerve. According to the National Eye Institute, i Continue reading >>