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Why Does Diabetes Cause Eye Problems?

Eye Problems And Diabetes

Eye Problems And Diabetes

Eye problems and diabetes introduction If you have diabetes, regular visits to your ophthalmologist for eye exams are important to avoid eye problems. High blood sugar (glucose) increases the risk of diabetes eye problems. In fact, diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in adults age 20 to 74. If you have eye problems and diabetes, don't buy a new pair of glasses as soon as you notice you have blurred vision. It could just be a temporary eye problem that develops rapidly with diabetes and is caused by high blood sugar levels. High blood sugar in diabetes causes the lens of the eye to swell, which changes your ability to see. To correct this kind of eye problem, you need to get your blood sugar back into the target range (90-130 milligrams per deciliter or mg/dL before meals, and less than 180 mg/dL one to two hours after a meal). It may take as long as three months after your blood sugar is well controlled for your vision to fully get back to normal. Blurred vision can also be a symptom of more serious eye problem with diabetes. The three major eye problems that people with diabetes may develop and should be aware of are cataracts, glaucoma, and retinopathy. A cataract is a clouding or fogging of the normally clear lens of the eye. The lens is what allows us to see and focus on an image just like a camera. Although anyone can get cataracts, people with diabetes get these eye problems at an earlier age than most and the condition progresses more rapidly than in people without diabetes. If you have a cataract, there is a cloudy area in the lens of your eye that results in the inability to focus light, and your vision is impaired. Symptoms of this eye problem in diabetes include blurred or glared vision. During cataract surgery, the cloudy lens is removed or cleaned ou 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 >>

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 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 >>

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 >>

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. Download our Understanding Eye Conditions Related to Diabetes guide Our Understanding Eye Conditions Related to Diabetes guide is accredited by the Royal College of Ophthalmologists. Its designed to give you a detailed understanding of your eye condition and helpful advice on next steps. Download Understanding Eye Conditions Related to Diabetes as a Word document (Word, 68KB) Understanding eye conditions related to diabetes Diabetes can affect your eye in a number of ways, but not everyone who has diabetes develops an eye condition. If you have diabetes, its really important for you to have regular eye tests and diabetic retinal screenings. Its important that the changes diabetes causes in your eye are picked up early because if treatment can be given at the right time, it can help prevent sight loss. 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 doesnt 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 vit Continue reading >>

Eye Problems Caused By Diabetes

Eye Problems Caused By Diabetes

There are currently about 29 million people in the U.S. diagnosed with diabetes and 86 million diagnosed with pre-diabetes, according to the National Institutes of Health. If you have diabetes, your blood sugar, or blood glucose, levels are too high. Over time, these high levels of blood glucose can damage your eyes. Currently, diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in adults. There are several common eye diseases caused by diabetes. The most common are cataracts, glaucoma, and retinopathy. Cataracts and Diabetes Cataracts are cloudy areas on the lens of the inside of the eye, which cause blurry eyesight. Cataracts is a common eye disease for the general population, but people with diabetes are more likely to develop cataracts due to the high levels of sugar in their blood. During your annual eye exam, your optometrist will screen for cataracts and if necessary refer you to an ophthalmologist for cataract surgery, a procedure for removing the cloudy area around the lens. Glaucoma and Diabetes Glaucoma is another common eye disease that may result from having diabetes. Glaucoma is caused when the fluid inside your eye does not drain properly. This issue can lead to heavy pressure inside the eye, causing discomfort and damage to nerves and blood vessels. A common type of glaucoma that people with diabetes can have is called neovascular glaucoma. This specific type of glaucoma causes blood vessels to grow on the iris (colored part) of the eye. These blood vessels block the normal flow of eye fluid, which can increase eye pressure. There are treatments for glaucoma resulting from diabetes, such as eye drops, laser treatment, medicine, or surgery. Diabetic Retinopathy Diabetic retinopathy is a blood vessel complication resulting from diabetes. It is also known as microva 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 >>

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 >>

Eye Doctor Q And A - Diabetes And Its Effect On The Eyes

Eye Doctor Q And A - Diabetes And Its Effect On The 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 such as pink eye and frequent styes? K.M. A: That's a great question! Yes, people with diabetes are more likely to get bacterial infections, incl 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 >>

Eye Problems & Diabetes

Eye Problems & Diabetes

The three major eye problems that people with diabetes need to be aware of are cataracts, glaucoma, and retinopathy. To prevent eye problems, you should: Control your blood glucose. Have your eyes checked at least once a year by an ophthalmologist (eye specialist). Control high blood pressure and lipids. Contact your doctor if any of the following occur: Black spots in your vision Flashes of light "Holes" in your vision Blurred vision Cataracts A cataract is a clouding or fogging of the lens inside the eye. When this happens, light cannot enter the eye and vision is impaired. Blurred vision Glared vision Treatment Surgery followed by glasses, contact lenses, or lens implant Glaucoma Glaucoma is a disease of the optic nerve (the "cable" that connects the eye to the brain and transmits light impulses to the brain). If the pressure inside the eye builds up, it can cause damage to this optic nerve. While most often there are NO symptoms from glaucoma, the following symptoms might occur: Loss of vision or visual field Headaches Eye aches (pain) Halos around lights Blurred vision Watering eyes Treatment Special eye drops Laser therapy Medication Surgery Prevention Have your eye doctor screen for glaucoma annually. Retinopathy Problems with the retina are called diabetic retinopathy. Problems develop as a result of fluid leaking from blood vessels into the eye or abnormal blood vessels formed in the eye. In either case, vision can be affected. If retinopathy is not found early or is not treated, blindness can occur. Sometimes there are no symptoms of retinopathy, but two common symptoms are: Blurred vision Spots or lines in your vision Laser therapy Surgery Injections into eye (advanced retinopathy) Have your eye doctor screen for retinopathy annually. Women with preexisting d 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 >>

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 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 >>

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