Eye complications of diabetes. Although the digestive systems of diabetics are similar to those of other people, their bodies have difficulty processing starches and other sugars. The sugars stay for extended periods within their systems and eventually pass into the bloodstream. Concentrated sugar or glucose in the blood leads to a condition known as glycemia. In many cases, a blood test is required to measure the level of glucose in the blood, and diabetics are usually given monitors that they use to test their blood glucose levels several times a day to watch against glycemia.
The Dangers of Glycemia
People with diabetes may suffer from a variety of complications when they have glycemia. The complications may affect various parts of and function in the body, including kidneys, heart, blood vessels, circulation, and eyesight. High levels of glucose in the blood tend to cause problems with eyesight, and the complications may affect different parts of the eye, including the lens, retina, optic nerve, and vitreous.
How the Eye Complications Develop
Diabetics usually develop eye problems gradually, and the initial damage often affects the retina. The retina is composed of many tiny blood vessels that become swollen when there is too much glucose in the blood. The vessels become weaker with time, and the sufferers gradually start experiencing vision problems.
It is recommended that diabetics should have their eyes checked at least once a year. Dilating the eyes during the exam helps in determining whether the eye complication has worsened. Complications of the eyes associated with diabetes lead to a condition known as diabetic retinopathy. It is important for diabetics to seek the services of ophthalmologists with experience in dealing with the condition.
Signs of Damage to the Retina
When excessive glucose in the blood starts interfering with the retina, the sufferers will experience a number of symptoms, including:
- Pressure in the eyes
- Painful eyes
- Dark spots in front of the affected eyes
- Blurry vision
- Difficulties with peripheral vision
- Flashing lights
What to Do
If diabetics experience some of these symptoms, they must consult ophthalmologists without delay to have a full eye exam. This will ensure that suitable treatments are started in good time to prevent further damage to the eyes. Corrective surgeries may also be performed to help the patients regain their sight in the affected eyes.
Other Eye Complications Associated with Diabetes
Diabetes may also lead to such eye complications as cataracts and glaucoma. Treating cataracts is relatively easy but glaucoma is a more serious condition that may lead to blindness. People suffering from diabetes must strive to manage their conditions as they work hand in hand with qualified ophthalmologists.
How to Avoid Diabetic Eye Complications
While diabetics have a high risk of developing eye complications, they can stay safe by familiarizing themselves with the Glycemic Index, which is used to rate the types of food that diabetics should not eat. Other helpful measures include exercising and avoiding smoking and taking alcohol. Diabetics must maintain their weight if they want to manage their conditions.
Diabetes is associated with a variety of health complications, including eye problems. However, patients suffering from the condition can avoid these complications by sticking to their treatments and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Some helpful measures are:
- Eating a proper diet
- Avoiding sugars and carbohydrates
- Monitoring the levels of blood glucose as regularly as directed by a physician
- Taking regular exercises
- Maintaining proper weight
- Avoiding cigarettes and alcohol
- Learning about the Glycemic Index
- Taking prescribed medications according to the directions of a physician
- Seeing a physician at set intervals
Maintaining compliance in the management of diabetes is necessary for avoiding eye complications and other serious problems associated with the condition.