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Why Does Diabetes Cause Eye Complications?

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 >>

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 >>

Diabetic Eye Disease

Diabetic Eye Disease

A A A Do I need to follow-up with my doctor after being diagnosed with diabetic eye disease? Diabetes is one of the leading causes of irreversible blindness worldwide, and, in the United States, it is the most common cause of blindness in people younger than 65 years of age. Diabetic eye disease also encompasses a wide range of other eye problems, for example, Diabetes may cause a reversible, temporary blurring of the vision, or it can cause a severe, permanent loss of vision. Some people may not even realize they have had diabetes for several years until they begin to experience problems with their eyes or vision. Diabetes also may result in heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, and circulatory abnormalities of the legs. The American Diabetes Association estimates that 29.1 million people in the United States have diabetes, and 8.1 million people additional people went undiagnosed. (This population is unaware that they have diabetes.) In the United States 1.2 million new cases of diabetes are diagnosed every year. In the US in 2012, the total annual cost of diagnosed diabetes was 2.45 billion. Eighty-six million people in the US have prediabetes, and 9 out of every 10 don't know they have it. Of the 86 million people with prediabetes, without lifestyle changes 15% to 30% of them will develop type 2 diabetes within 5 years. Lifestyle management has been shown to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and prediabetes by at least two-thirds. It can also slow or halt the progression of prediabetes to diabetes. People can try to avoid the problems associated with diabetes, including those that affect the eyes, by taking appropriate care of themselves by the following: Maintain a normal level of weight Watch your diet, especially limiting unhealthy types of fats and Continue reading >>

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is a condition that occurs in people who have diabetes. It causes progressive damage to the retina, the light-sensitive lining at the back of the eye. Diabetic retinopathy is a serious sight-threatening complication of diabetes. Diabetes interferes with the body's ability to use and store sugar (glucose). The disease is characterized by too much sugar in the blood, which can cause damage throughout the body, including the eyes. Over time, diabetes damages the blood vessels in the retina. Diabetic retinopathy occurs when these tiny blood vessels leak blood and other fluids. This causes the retinal tissue to swell, resulting in cloudy or blurred vision. The condition usually affects both eyes. The longer a person has diabetes, the more likely they will develop diabetic retinopathy. If left untreated, diabetic retinopathy can cause blindness. Symptoms of diabetic retinopathy include: Seeing spots or floaters Blurred vision Having a dark or empty spot in the center of your vision Difficulty seeing well at night When people with diabetes experience long periods of high blood sugar, fluid can accumulate in the lens inside the eye that controls focusing. This changes the curvature of the lens, leading to blurred vision. However, once blood sugar levels are controlled, blurred distance vision will improve. Patients with diabetes who can better control their blood sugar levels will slow the onset and progression of diabetic retinopathy. Often the early stages of diabetic retinopathy have no visual symptoms. That is why the American Optometric Association recommends that everyone with diabetes have a comprehensive dilated eye examination once a year. Early detection and treatment can limit the potential for significant vision loss from diabetic retinopathy. T 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 >>

Diabetic Eye Problems

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 >>

​​diabetes Eye Complications And Prevention

​​diabetes Eye Complications And Prevention

People with diabetes are at risk of diabetic eye disease (diabetic retinopathy), which can cause blindness. Doctors from the Surgical Retina Department, Singapore National Eye Centre, share some important prevention tips. Diabetes, when poorly-controlled, results in multiple complications. Diabetes is a leading cause of kidney failure, blindness, limb amputation, heart attack and stroke. Diabetes complications can be broadly divided into those affecting the small blood vessels (microvascular) and those affecting the large blood vessels (macrovascular). ​ Microvascular (Complications of small blood vessels) Macrovascular (Complications of large blood vessels) Eye (Blindness) Heart (Heart Attacks) Kidney (Kidney Failure) Brain (Strokes) Nerve (Amputations) Limbs (Amputations) How diabetes can affect your​ eyes Diabetic eye disease (diabetic retinopathy) results from reduced blood flow to the light-sensing nerve layer of the eye (retina). Over time, there is formation of fragile and leaky new blood vessels and nerve layer swelling. These changes can progress to blindness if not identified early and treated, say doctors at the Surgical Retina Department, Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC), a member of the SingHealth group. Diabetes affects the peripheral and central retina in different ways: Non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy, also known as background diabetic retinopathy, is the early stage of diabetic retinopathy and occurs when the small retinal blood vessels become affected and start to leak and bleed. At this stage, vision is usually not affected. Proliferative diabetic retinopathy is associated with a high risk of permanent loss of vision. There is growth of abnormal new blood vessels in the retina. These abnormal new vessels can rupture, causing significant Continue reading >>

Blurry Vision And Diabetes: What's The Connection?

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 >>

5 Ways Diabetes Can Affect Your Eyes & Vision

5 Ways Diabetes Can Affect Your Eyes & Vision

Treatment can include medicine and special eye drops. Surgery and laser treatments can help with drainage. If you have diabetes, youre also more likely to get a rare condition called neovascular glaucoma. This makes new blood vessels grow on the iris, the colored part of your eye. They block the normal flow of fluid and raise eye pressure. It's difficult to treat. Your doctor might try laser surgery to cut back on the vessels. Or he could use implants to help drain the fluid. The retina is a group of cells on the back of your eye that take in light. They turn it into images that the optic nerve sends to your brain . Damage to small blood vessels in your retina causes diabetic retinopathy . It's related to high blood sugar levels . If you dont find and treat it early, you could go blind. The longer you have diabetes, the more likely you are to get it. If you keep your blood sugar under control, you lower your chances. People with type 1 diabetes rarely develop the condition before puberty . In adults, it's rare to see unless you've had type 1 diabetes for at least 5 years. If you keep tight control of your blood sugar with either an insulin pump or multiple daily insulin injections, youre far less likely to get this condition. If you have type 2 diabetes, you may have signs of eye problems when youre diagnosed. Control your blood sugar, blood pressure , and cholesterol to slow or prevent the disease. If you smoke, try to quit. Itll improve your eyes and your overall health. Background retinopathy. Your blood vessels are damaged, but you can still see OK. It can get worse if you don't manage your diabetes well. Maculopathy. This is damage to the macula, a critical area of your retina. It can greatly affect your vision. Proliferative retinopathy. It happens when cells at Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Your Eyes — More Than Retinopathy

Diabetes And Your Eyes — More Than Retinopathy

You probably know that eye damage (retinopathy) is a major complication of diabetes. So when vision blurs, it’s normal to think the worst. But diabetes can cause blurred vision in several other ways, some of which are reversible. I’m embarrassed to admit I only recently found out that blurred vision is a symptom of diabetes, even without any retinal damage. When blood glucose levels go up, blood gets thicker. Thicker blood pulls in more fluid from surrounding tissues, including the lenses of the eye, impacting the ability to focus. -- Keep an eye on your vision! Learn about preventive steps and treatments for diabetic retinopathy from retinal specialist Dr. Charles Wykoff. >> Blood sugar and blurry vision According to WebMD, [Blurred vision] could just be a temporary problem that develops rapidly and is caused by high blood sugar levels. High blood sugar causes the lens of the eye to swell, which changes your ability to see. Changing the shape of the lens naturally throws off vision. This can be a chronic, 24/7 kind of problem, or it can occur only after a high-carb meal, when glucose is way up. The Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide says that after-meal blurriness can be prevented by avoiding high-carb meals. The cure for chronic, all-the-time blurriness is to get blood glucose down to normal range before meals. It may take as long three months of relatively normal blood glucose levels before vision returns to your baseline normal. Diabetes can also cause blurriness or double vision due to hypoglycemia (low blood glucose). In this case, lens shape is probably not to blame. Low blood glucose can make it hard for the brain to focus on what the eye is seeing. Vision usually returns to normal when glucose levels rise. If blurriness doesn’t go away when glucos 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 >>

Facts About Diabetic Eye Disease

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 >>

Diabetes And Diabetic Retinopathy: Q&a

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 >>

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 The Eye Return

Diabetes And The Eye Return

Diabetes can lead to numerous vision problems. When diabetes is poorly controlled, there is an excess amount of sugar in the blood, causing the vessels that supply the eye with blood to thicken and harden, which prevents them from doing their job properly. The iris: located on the surface of the eye, it gives the eye its colour. The crystalline lens: suspended behind the iris, this biconvex structure acts like a lens, directing and focusing the light on the retina. The vitreous humour: a transparent jelly-like substance that gives the eye its round shape and helps the flow of oxygen to the eye. The retina: a thin layer of cells lining the back of the eye, it senses images, colours, shapes and motion; The optic nerve: situated at the back of the eye, it transmits the images captured by the eye to the brain. Diabetes is not a primary cause of cataracts or glaucoma. However, these eye diseases tend to appear prematurely in people with diabetes. Regular eye exams are essential since the effect of diabetes on the eye usually produces no symptoms until well advanced. The recommended frequency of eye exams is as follows: Starting at the age of 15 or 5 years after diagnosis Every year or according to recommendations of the health professional Every year or according to recommendations of the health professional During the first 3 months of pregnancy, and if needed afterwards. Recommandations adapted fromCanadian Diabetes Association 2013 Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Prevention and Treatment of Diabetes in Canada. If you have retinopathy, the frequency of your eye exams will vary depending on the severity of the disease. In addition to annual eye exams, consult an optometrist or ophthalmologist if you have the following symptoms: Blurred vision that changes from one day Continue reading >>

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