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Diabetic Eye Disease

Written by Abhishek & Moderated by Dr Anuradha Totey

What is diabetic eye disease?

A diabetic eye disease is a group of eye issues that can affect individuals with diabetes. Diabetic eye disease is a term for a few eye issues that can all result from diabetes.

Diabetic eye disease includes:

  • Diabetic Retinopathy,

  • Diabetic Macular Edema,

  • Cataract, and

  • Glaucoma.

Over some time, diabetes can damage your eyes that can lead to poor vision or even. complete vision loss (blindness). However, you can take steps to prevent diabetic eye disease, or keep it from getting worse, by taking care of your diabetes.


The most ideal ways to deal with your diabetes and keep your eyes healthy are to, ,

  • Manage your blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol

  • If you smoke then quit smoking

  • Have a dilated eye examination once a year

Often, there are no warning signs of diabetic eye disease or vision loss when damage initially develops. A full, dilated eye exam helps your eye specialist to find and treat eye problems early, often before much vision loss can occur.



What are the symptoms of diabetic eye disease?

Often there are no early indications of diabetic eye disease. You may have no pain and no change in your vision as damage begins to grow inside your eyes, especially with diabetic retinopathy.

When symptoms do occur, they may include,

  • blurry or wavy vision

  • faded colours

  • double vision, usually in just one eye

  • frequently changing vision—sometimes from day-to-day

  • spots or dark strings (also called floaters)

  • glare or halos around lights

Talk to your eye specialist if you have any of these symptoms.



How can I reduce the risks?

If your diabetes is well controlled, you’re less likely to have problems, or they may be less serious. However, some people with diabetes do have serious sight loss because of their retinopathy. You can reduce your risk of developing retinopathy or help to stop it from getting worse, by:

  • Keeping your blood glucose or blood sugar level within normal levels.

  • Controlling your blood pressure.

  • Controlling your cholesterol levels.

  • Keeping fit and maintaining a healthy weight.

  • Giving up smoking. Smoking increases your blood pressure and raises your blood sugar level, which makes it harder to control your diabetes.

  • Having regular retinal screening. The most effective thing you can do to prevent vision loss due to diabetic retinopathy is to go to your retinal screening appointments. Early diagnosis and treatment can stop you from losing sight.


When to see a doctor?

If you have diabetes, you’re at increased risk for a variety of eye-related problems. It’s important to have regular eye and health checkups. Eye exams should include dilation every year.


Be sure to inform your doctor about all of your indications, as well as all the prescriptions you take.


Blurred vision can be a minor problem with a quick fix, such as eye drops or another prescription for your eyeglasses.


However, it can also indicate a serious eye disease or an underlying condition other than diabetes. That’s why you should report hazy/cloudy vision and other vision changes to your specialist.


In many cases, early treatment can correct the problem or prevent it from getting worse.


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