Imbalance is an important thing to avoid when it comes to health, having too many of specific hormones, proteins, or even too much water can lead to conditions that affect our health. In the case of diabetes, it’s your blood glucose levels that are out of balance, leading to extensive damage throughout your body if left undiagnosed for too long. This chronic condition can wreak havoc on your endocrine, digestive, circulatory, nervous, reproductive, and urinary systems given enough time and no effort to control its effects.
It can also do great damage to your eyes, and if you have diabetes, you need to be sure to take care of yourself to protect them. To better understand the complications of diabetes in your eyes and how to avoid the worst problems you can face, let’s look at what this illness can do to them, the results of not caring for them, and your prevention and treatment options.
Residents of Muncie, Indiana, who are struggling to manage diabetes and its effects on their eyes can find help with Dr. Jeffrey Rapkin and his skilled medical staff at the Retina Consultants of Muncie.
Diabetes is the result of your body having too much blood sugar, which is either the result of your pancreas not creating enough insulin (a protein responsible for regulating blood sugar) or your body responding abnormally to it (insulin resistance). We need blood sugar to fuel our cells and give us energy, but too much damages the body, and in the case of your eyes it damages your retinal blood vessels and other parts of the eye.
Here are the ways diabetes can damage your eyes:
This is the most common form of glaucoma, and can develop slowly and painlessly for years without you knowing it. The “open angle” refers to the part where your cornea meets your iris which helps to drain the eye of old fluids. With this condition, your eyes don’t drain properly, which increases eye pressure and can damage your optic nerve over time. Being diabetic puts you at higher risk of developing this eye problem.
This condition clouds the lens of your eye, which needs to be clear to function properly. This can lead to blurred or dimmed vision, sensitivity to light, double vision, and frequent changes in prescriptions for contacts or glasses. Having diabetes increases your chances of dealing with this form of vision impairment.
One of the most common eye problems diabetics deal with, diabetic retinopathy weakens your retinal blood vessels causing them to bleed into your vitreous (the fluid that fills your eye), leading to seeing spots and eventually scarring on the back of your eye. Without treatment, this condition can impair vision permanently or even lead to blindness.
Avoiding these problems often means controlling your blood sugar and increasing the efficiency of insulin in your body. Making dietary changes, getting more physical exercise, moderating your alcohol, treating related conditions (like hypertension), and routine screenings will help.
If you’re diabetic, eye exams are all-important to make sure you catch any concerns early. Treatment options will vary depending on the condition and how far it has progressed, and include laser treatment, injections, and surgery.
Your eyes are crucial for so many of your daily activities. If you have diabetes, getting them checked regularly can save your vision. For comprehensive eye care, make an appointment with Dr. Rapkin and his team at the Retina Consultants of Muncie today.