Diabetes can affect the eye in a number of ways. These usually involve the fine network of blood vessels in the retina.The most severe condition that can occur is diabetic retinopathy.Below mentioned are some of the problems that can develop in the eyes of those suffering from diabetes.
Temporary blurring: The vision may become blurred for a few days or weeks while the diabetes is first being controlled. This is due to the swelling of the lens of the eye.
Cataract: Young people with diabetes can develop a special type of cataract.Although their vision gets worse, it can be restored by surgery. older people with diabetes can be especially prone to developing cataracts. Cataracts can be successfully removed by surgery and usually it is possible to insert a lens implant.
Diabetic retinopathy: The most serious diabetic eye condition involves the retina and is called diabetic retinopathy. This condition is very common in people who have had diabetes for a long time. Your doctor may be able to see abnormalities in your eyes, but there is no threat to your sight.
There are two types of diabetic retinopathy which can damage your sight. Both involve the fine network of blood vessels in the retina. They are : Type 1 - Maculopathy:This happens when the blood vessels in the retina start to leak. If the macula is affected, you will find that your central vision gradually gets worse. You may find it difficult to recognize people's faces in the distance or to see details like small print.The amount of central vision that is lost varies from person to person. Type 2 - Proliferative diabetic retinopathy:Sometimes diabetes can cause the blood vessels in the retina to become blocked. If this happens then new blood vessels form in the eye. This is nature's way of trying to repair the damage so that the retina has a new blood supply. Unfortunately these new blood vessels are weak. They are also in the wrong place - growing on the surface of the retina and into the vitreous jelly. As a result these blood vessels can bleed very easily and cause scar tissue to form in the eye. The scarring pulls and distorts the retina. When the retina is pulled out of position this is called retinal detachment. This condition is more rare than background retinopathy and is more often found in people who have been insulin dependent for many years. The new blood vessels will rarely affect your vision, but their consequences, such as bleeding or retinal detachment can cause your vision to get worse suddenly. Your eyesight may become blurred and patchy as the bleeding obscures part of your vision. Without treatment, total loss of vision can occur in proliferative retinopathy. So the best way to protect your eyes is to keep your blood sugar in check.Those who have been suffering from diabetes for long time should get their eyes examined at the earliest for early detection of any damage.