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How Does Diabetes Cause Eye Problems?

Does Diabetes Cause Glaucoma?

Does Diabetes Cause Glaucoma?

Diabetes affects more than 29 million Americans today. The most common type of diabetes is type II diabetes, or adult-onset diabetes, which typically affects adults who are over 40, overweight and have an inactive lifestyle. These three precursors can increase the risk of developing other diseases such as hypertension, high cholesterol, and heart disease. A significant percentage of diabetics also develop glaucoma, a seemingly unrelated disease. There is no doubt that a connection exists between diabetes and glaucoma, but does diabetes cause glaucoma? This is a difficult question to which doctors and researchers are still seeking answers. While we may not be able to prove that diabetes causes glaucoma, there are some interesting statistics that link these diseases: Diabetics are twice as likely to develop glaucoma as non-diabetics Someone with open-angle glaucoma (the most common type of glaucoma) is more likely to develop diabetes than someone who does not have open-angle glaucoma In some diabetics, new blood vessels grow on the iris and block the flow of eye fluid which raises inner eye pressure. This is known as neovascular glaucoma. These statistics certainly support the assertion that diabetes and glaucoma are strongly connected. Other eye diseases have a similar link to diabetes, such as cataracts and diabetic retinopathy. These conditions, along with glaucoma, are collectively referred to as diabetic eye disease. This is a general term for a group of vision problems that diabetics may develop (Source: Glaucoma Research Foundation). It may be too early to conclude that diabetes causes glaucoma, but it is clear that these diseases are not independent of one another. Therefore, preventing one of these diseases may be a key factor in preventing the development of sev Continue reading >>

Cataracts, Blindness, And Diabetic Dogs

Cataracts, Blindness, And Diabetic Dogs

Diabetic dogs can live healthy lives. Unfortunately, a common complication of diabetes in dogs is cataracts (cloudy lenses). In fact, 75% of dogs develop cataracts and blindness in both eyes within 9 months of being diagnosed with diabetes. The cataracts develop very quickly—sometimes overnight! If untreated, the cataracts cause intraocular inflammation called Lens-Induced Uveitis (LIU) that harms the eyes by causing glaucoma (increased intraocular pressure). If the LIU is uncontrolled and glaucoma develops, cataract surgery might not be possible. Glaucoma causes a chronic headache (similar to a migraine). In worst case scenarios, cataracts form rapidly in both eyes, the lens capsules split/rupture, severe LIU occurs resulting in glaucoma and severe painful intraocular inflammation (phacoclastic uveitis), and both eyes need to be surgically removed. This is a tragic outcome, and one to be avoided if possible. Thus, DO NOT WAIT until your dog’s diabetes is controlled, before seeing an ophthalmologist!! Another very important recommendation is that if your diabetic dog is started on a special canine antioxidant vision supplement BEFORE they develop cataracts, blindness can be prevented in many of these dogs. A 2012 clinical study in Great Britain found that diabetic dogs supplemented daily with this vision supplement did not develop blinding cataracts over a one-year period. This has also been Dr. McCalla’s clinical experience in diabetic dogs, as long as the diabetes remains well-controlled. If cataracts are developing in your diabetic dog, this is an ophthalmic emergency; you must have your pet examined by a veterinary ophthalmologist as soon as possible. To locate a veterinary ophthalmologist near you, please ask your family veterinarian or visit the ACVO website Continue reading >>

Eye Health

Eye Health

If you have diabetes, it is likely that you will develop some changes to your eyes. Diabetes sometimes causes the focusing ability of the eye to weaken or to vary from day-to-day however; this problem eases when blood glucose levels are stable. Diabetes can also cause vision loss from Diabetes Retinopathy (damage to the very small blood vessels on the back of the eye). Diabetic Retinopathy The risk of developing diabetic retinopathy increases with the length of time you have had diabetes. The risk is also increased when blood glucose levels are not well controlled over time. Good blood glucose levels and blood pressure, and regular comprehensive eye examinations can greatly reduce the risk of developing diabetic retinopathy but it does not eliminate it. Diabetic Retinopathy can occur regardless of the type of diabetes you have, your age, or even the control you have over your blood-glucose levels. It’s best to have regular eye examinations so that changes can be detected and treated early. People who have diabetes should have their eyes checked from when diabetes is first diagnosed, and then regularly checked every two years. Symptoms Diabetic Retinopathy If you notice any changes in your vision contact your doctor. Some examples of symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy include: Blurred, distorted or patchy vision that can’t be corrected with prescription glasses Problems with balance, reading, watching television and recognising people Being overly sensitive to glare Difficulty seeing at night. In the early stages of Diabetic Retinopathy there may be no symptoms and the disease may not be diagnosed until it is advanced. Double vision This is a rare complication of diabetes. Double vision is usually temporary but it may last for a few months. An optometrist can help trea Continue reading >>

Eye Conditions Related To Diabetes

Eye Conditions Related To Diabetes

Diabetes can affect your eyes in a number of ways. The most serious eye condition related to Diabetes is diabetic retinopathy. Early diagnosis is vital. Most sight-threatening diabetic problems can be managed if treatment is carried out early enough. Looking after your Diabetes and regular retinal screening can help to reduce your risk of developing the eye conditions related to Diabetes. We’ve produced a downloadable guide that will give you an in-depth understanding of Diabetes related eye conditions as well as advice on coping with the conditions. Diabetic retinopathy The most serious eye condition associated with Diabetes is diabetic retinopathy. It occurs when the tiny blood vessels at the back of your eye become blocked and leak. There are different types of diabetic retinopathy - Background diabetic retinopathy: Background retinopathy does not usually affect your sight, but your eyes will need to be monitored carefully to make sure your retinopathy doesn’t become worse. Proliferative diabetic retinopathy: If background retinopathy gets worse, many of the retinal blood vessels become damaged or blocked. When these changes affect a large area of your retina, blood supply to the retina is reduced. The body tries to fix this by growing new blood vessels on the retinal surface or into the vitreous gel. Unfortunately, these new vessels are weak and they bleed very easily, which may affect your vision. Diabetic maculopathy: When your macula (the central part of your retina) is affected by your retinopathy, you are said to have diabetic maculopathy. This means that your central vision, which is required for seeing fine detail and colour, will be blurred. You can get a more in-depth look at the different types and associated treatments in our Understanding diabetes gu Continue reading >>

How Does Diabetes Affect The Eye And The Vision?

How Does Diabetes Affect The Eye And The Vision?

Diabetes has always been known to cause quite a few complications if not managed in time. An unmanaged and uncontrolled diabetes tends to affect the eye, liver, kidney and more in the long run. As such, we will be looking into one such complication arising out of diabetes for our today’s entry as part of our informative series on diabetes. We’ll be having a keen look into the Diabetic Retinopathy and shall deal with its causes, symptoms and the treatment module for it. Diabetic eye problems are closely related as unmanaged diabetes will give way to a host of eye disorders. Diabetic is known to cause different eye related issues often known by as the diabetic eye disease. An untreated instance of such diabetic eye disease can cause complication, in the long run, even pertaining to blindness on some cases. The most common of the eye problem as a result of diabetes is the diabetic retinopathy which affects the retina of the eye. Diabetic retinopathy when untreated for long can cause diabetic macular edema further on. Diabetes causes a rise in the blood glucose levels and in the blood pressure levels. Such elevated levels of blood glucose cause the nerves of the retina to get affected. As when the nerves of the retina are affected along, blood vessels may cause leaks with floating spots around. This, in turn, leads to affecting the vision of the eye. Furthermore, such effect of the blood glucose levels causes the optic nerve, the nerve which transports the light to the brain of which it creates an image for us gets damaged. That in itself affects the vision of the eye and may lead to impairment or hemorrhage. What is Diabetic Eye Disease? Diabetic Eye Disease refers to a group of eye-related issues seen by in people suffering from diabetes. There are four sub-types of t Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Eye Health

Diabetes And Eye Health

Diabetes is a disease that affects the body’s ability to produce or use insulin effectively to control blood sugar (glucose) levels. Although glucose is an important source of energy for the body’s cells, too much glucose in the blood for a long time can cause damage in many parts of the body, including the heart, kidneys, blood vessels and the small blood vessels in the eyes. When the blood vessels in the eye’s retina (the light sensitive tissue lining the back of the eye) swell, leak or close off completely — or if abnormal new blood vessels grow on the surface of the retina — it is called diabetic retinopathy. People who are at greater risk of developing diabetic retinopathy are those who have diabetes or poor blood sugar control, women who are pregnant, and people with high blood pressure, high blood lipids or both. Risk also increases with duration of diabetes. For example, one woman developed diabetic retinopathy after living with diabetes for 25 years. Also, people who are from certain ethnic groups, such as African-Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans, are more likely to develop diabetic retinopathy. In fact, a new study confirms that diabetes is a top risk factor for vision loss among Hispanics. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 90 percent of diabetes-related vision loss can be prevented, but early detection is key. People with diabetes should get critical, annual eye exams even before they have signs of vision loss. However, studies show that sixty percent of diabetics are not getting the exams their doctors recommend. Something to remember: diabetes can cause vision in your eyes to change even if you do not have retinopathy. If your blood sugar levels change quickly, it can affect the shape of your eye’s Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Blurry Vision: What You Need To Know

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 >>

Vision Facts For Children With Diabetes

Vision Facts For Children With Diabetes

Diabetes and Your Child's Eyes 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 Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Your Eyesight

Diabetes And Your Eyesight

Diabetes is a complex disease resulting from the inability of the body to produce insulin, a hormone that takes sugar out of the blood and into cells where it can be used for energy. Without enough insulin, there is too much sugar in your blood. It’s like having a car full of gas but no key; you have the fuel you need, but can’t start using it. Diabetes affects more than 29 million Americans. The most common form of diabetes is adult-onset diabetes. Adult-onset diabetes typically strikes those who are over 40, overweight and have a sedentary lifestyle. Other risk factors include those with a family history of diabetes and those belonging to certain ethnic groups. Persons of African, Native American, Japanese, Latino or Polynesian descent are more at risk. Diabetic Eye Disease A common complication of diabetes is diabetic eye disease. Diabetic eye disease refers to a group of sight-threatening eye problems that people with diabetes may develop. Glaucoma is one of these diseases. Diabetic eye disease also includes diabetic retinopathy and cataracts. Diabetic retinopathy, a disease which damages the tiny blood vessels in the retina (the light-sensitive tissue that lines the back of the eye) is the most common diabetic eye disease. Diabetic retinopathy affects nearly 7.7 million Americans age 40 and older. A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s lens that results in blurring of normal vision. People with diabetes are nearly twice as likely to develop cataracts as other adults. Cataracts also tend to develop at an earlier age. Diabetes and Glaucoma The relationship between diabetes and open-angle glaucoma (the most common type of glaucoma), has intrigued researchers for years. People with diabetes are twice as likely to develop glaucoma as are non-diabetics, although som Continue reading >>

5 Dangerous Diabetes Eye Problems And Their Fixes

5 Dangerous Diabetes Eye Problems And Their Fixes

At first glance, it does not make sense that diabetes can cause eye problems, yet it is the biggest cause of blindness in people above the age of 20. Diabetes can often lead to various other serious health issues if it is left untreated, and the issues affecting the eyes are arguably some of the most devastating. So what types of eye problems do diabetes cause? Blurry Vision Most people’s first instinct is to get tested for a pair of glasses or contact lenses as soon as they notice their vision is becoming a bit blurry. However, this might turn out to be a case of treating the symptoms rather than the root cause of the problem. Oftentimes it is constant levels of high blood sugar that results in this blurry vision. How to fix it… The key is to tackle the problem at its core cause, which is a high blood sugar level. To correct it, you will need to get your blood sugar back to a “normal” level, which is in the range of 3.8 – 7.2mmol/L, before meals, and less than 10mmol/L an hour or two after a meal. It may take up to 3 months for your vision to completely get back to normal. Although high blood sugar levels are often the cause of blurry vision, we still recommend that you speak to an eye doctor as he/she will be able to tell you in case it is a symptom of an even more serious problem. Cataracts Cataracts are formed when debris clouds up the lens of the eye, making it difficult for the eyes to focus. The two main symptoms of cataracts are blurred vision and glare. Although anybody can get cataracts, it is far more common amongst people who suffer from diabetes, and it may often develop into a big issue much faster. How to fix it… Surgery is needed to remove a cataract. This typically means that the doctor replaces the cloudy lens with an artificial one. Glauco Continue reading >>

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic Retinopathy

Print Overview Diabetic retinopathy (die-uh-BET-ik ret-ih-NOP-uh-thee) is a diabetes complication that affects eyes. It's caused by damage to the blood vessels of the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye (retina). At first, diabetic retinopathy may cause no symptoms or only mild vision problems. Eventually, it can cause blindness. The condition can develop in anyone who has type 1 or type 2 diabetes. The longer you have diabetes and the less controlled your blood sugar is, the more likely you are to develop this eye complication. Symptoms You might not have symptoms in the early stages of diabetic retinopathy. As the condition progresses, diabetic retinopathy symptoms may include: Spots or dark strings floating in your vision (floaters) Blurred vision Fluctuating vision Impaired color vision Dark or empty areas in your vision Vision loss Diabetic retinopathy usually affects both eyes. When to see a doctor Careful management of your diabetes is the best way to prevent vision loss. If you have diabetes, see your eye doctor for a yearly eye exam with dilation — even if your vision seems fine. Pregnancy may worsen diabetic retinopathy, so if you're pregnant, your eye doctor may recommend additional eye exams throughout your pregnancy. Contact your eye doctor right away if your vision changes suddenly or becomes blurry, spotty or hazy. Causes Over time, too much sugar in your blood can lead to the blockage of the tiny blood vessels that nourish the retina, cutting off its blood supply. As a result, the eye attempts to grow new blood vessels. But these new blood vessels don't develop properly and can leak easily. There are two types of diabetic retinopathy: Early diabetic retinopathy. In this more common form — called nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR) Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Eye Problems

Diabetes And Eye Problems

Tweet Diabetic retinopathy is the most common form of eye problem affecting people with diabetes, but further diabetes-related eye problems are common - such as glaucoma and cataracts. Both glaucoma and cataracts can have a serious influence on vision. Diabetic eye disease is a term that encompasses a range of eye problems. At their most extreme, each of these conditions can cause loss of vision and even blindness but treatments can help to reduce the risk of this happening. People with diabetes are twice as likely to suffer from cataracts or glaucoma than the general population. [1] Which eye problems are commonly associated with diabetes? Retinopathy is the most common form of eye problem in people with diabetes. Large research studies, such as the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial published in 1993, show that risk of developing retinopathy increases with higher HbA1c values, higher blood pressure and increasing duration of having had diabetes. Diabetes eye problems occur when blood glucose levels are left untreated, or may be hereditary and exacerbated by diabetes (such as cataracts and glaucoma). A simple visit to an ophthalmologist could help to stop thousands of people each year from going blind, this is why people with diabetes should have a dilated eye examination at least once per year. Does diabetic eye disease treatment reverse vision damage? Major studies have shown that laser surgery lowers the risk of vision loss from diabetic eye disease. However, once diabetic eye problems have damaged the vision laser treatment is not effective in reversing damage. What is the relationship between blood sugar control and diabetes eye problems? Diabetes eye problems are directly linked to blood sugar control. Consistent control of blood glucose reduces the develop Continue reading >>

Diabetic Eye Disease

Diabetic Eye Disease

Patients with diabetes are at a higher risk of developing eye conditions as a complication of their disease. These conditions can lead to vision loss and blindness and include diabetic retinopathy, cataracts and glaucoma. Diabetic retinopathy is actually the leading cause of blindness in the United States. Diabetic eye conditions often develop without any noticeable loss of vision or pain, so significant damage may have occurred by the time patients notice any symptoms. For this reason, it is important for diabetic patients to have their eyes examined at least once a year. Early detection of eye disease can help prevent permanent damage. Diabetic-related eye problems develop from high blood sugar levels, which can cause damage to blood vessels in the eye. Over 40 percent of patients diagnosed with diabetes develop some form of eye disease as a result of their disease. The risk of developing eye problems can be reduced with regular eye exams and by controlling blood sugar levels with a healthy diet and regular exercise. Causes of Diabetic Eye Conditions Diabetic eye conditions develop in the retina as a result of microvascular abnormalities. The tiny blood vessels within the retina develop microaneurysms that, over time, leak blood. As new blood vessels develop to replace the blood vessels that are no longer viable, they also leak blood causing hemorrhages and permanent damage to the retina. While diabetics struggle with a high sugar count in the blood along with insufficient insulin production, it is actually the lack of oxygen in the blood that leads to loss of vision. Diagnosis of Diabetic Eye Conditions Diabetic eye conditions can be detected through a comprehensive eye exam. A comprehensive eye exam involves a visual acuity test to measure vision at various distance Continue reading >>

Prediabetes And Your Vision: Know The Facts

Prediabetes And Your Vision: Know The Facts

More than 29 million people in the United States are living with diabetes. 86 million Americans—more than one out of three—have prediabetes, and vision problems are one of the foremost complications accompanying this disease. It is important to know what those problems are and, most importantly, how you can delay diabetes from taking hold. Diabetes And Its Impact On Vision Currently, diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in adults. The most common eye diseases caused by diabetes are retinopathy, glaucoma and cataracts. Here are the facts: Diabetic retinopathy accounts for 12 percent of all new cases of blindness in the U.S. Once a person is diagnosed with diabetes, they are 40 percent more likely to develop glaucoma. A person with diabetes is 60 percent more likely to develop cataracts. What Is Prediabetes? Prediabetes is a condition in which a person’s blood glucose levels are higher than normal but aren’t yet high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes. Studies show that nearly eight percent of people develop diabetic retinopathy during the prediabetic stage, before they have been officially diagnosed with diabetes. Blurred vision is also a prominent symptom of prediabetes. If you are experiencing vision changes, get your blood sugar levels tested, as many people with prediabetes are already suffering complications from diabetes. (Statistics in the video are from 2010 studies.) What Can You Do? Diet and lifestyle changes can delay, if not entirely prevent diabetes from fully taking hold—especially during the pre-diabetic phase. Here are some things you can do to slow the onset of diabetes: Eat healthy foods. Increase fruit and vegetable intake and decrease fat and calorie intake. Incorporate physical activity into your daily routine. Exercise helps muscle c Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Your Eyes

Diabetes And Your Eyes

Diabetic eye disease, caused by diabetes, is a leading cause of blindness and vision loss. Because of the high risk for eye disease, all people with type 2 diabetes should receive an annual dilated eye exam. For people with type 1 diabetes, an annual dilated exam is recommended after they have had diabetes for 5 years. Pregnant women with diabetes should see their eye doctor during the first three months of pregnancy and may need follow-up visits. Continue reading >>

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