People suffering from diabetes are at risk of many different medical conditions. For instance, they are prone to atherosclerosis which additionally increases the risk of heart attack or stroke. These individuals are also highly susceptible to peripheral circulatory problems. Uncontrolled level of sugar in blood is additionally blamed for damage to many nerves in the body (neuropathy). This is why it is not unusual that people with diabetes also frequently suffer from certain eye conditions.
Cataract in Diabetic Patients
Cataract, a clouding of the lens, usually affects older individuals. In case of diabetic patients it may develop much earlier in life and once the condition occurs, it progresses rapidly. The affected lens loses its translucency which results in visual problems such as blurred vision.
Cataract is not a serious medical issue and is easily treated with surgical resection of the affected lens and its replacement with an artificial one.
Glaucoma in Diabetic Patients
Glaucoma is more complex condition and may easily cause blindness, especially if it develops suddenly. This eye disorder develops due to accumulation of eye fluid (aqueous humor). Excess of this fluid is either caused by its inadequate elimination or by increased production. No matter what the underlying cause of such excess is, patients typically complain about eye pain, headaches, blurred vision, watering eyes and halos around lights.
Depending on the severity of the condition, patients may be treated conservatively, with eye drops or surgically. Proper eye screening, which is essential for all patients suffering from diabetes, must be performed on a regular basis. It can reveal new eye disorders and also provide proper insight in progress of the already existing ones.Diabetic Retinopathy
The retina is another part of the eye which is commonly affected by changes in level of sugar in blood.
Due to poorly controlled disease, small blood vessels in the retina get easily damaged. There are three types of retinopathy associated with diabetes.
The first one is background retinopathy. It is characterized by damage to the blood vessels of the organ with no associated vision problems. This type of the disease can be confirmed during regular eye exams.
Maculopathy is another form of diabetic retinopathy. It affects the macula, the part of the retina specialized for high acuity vision, and is blamed for severe reduction of vision.
Finally, there is proliferative retinopathy, a condition in which new vessels form inside the retina. They develop because of the lack of oxygen in this part of the eye, but their presence only leads to changes in vision and may cause serious complications.