Can Diabetes Lead To Blindness?

Dr. Mai-Vy Hoang 11/16/2016

retinopathy-diabetes.pngIt is widely known that diabetes causes all sorts of health problems. Yet most people are unaware that diabetes has the potential to lead to partial or full vision loss. As a diabetic patient ages, high blood sugar levels eventually harm the retina portion of the eye. The retina is the layer along the back of the eye that gathers images and transmits them to the brain in the form of nerve signals. Diabetic retinopathy has the potential to induce blindness.

Furthermore, diabetic individuals are more prone to develop glaucoma and cataracts that can impair vision. In particular, diabetes has the potential to lead to an extreme form of glaucoma known as neovascular glaucoma. Let's delve into diabetic retinopathy and explain how diabetics can reduce the chances of impaired vision and vision loss.

An Explanation of Diabetic Retinopathy

The damaging of small blood vessels within the retina as a result of diabetes is known as diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy is the most common eye disease stemming from diabetes. It is the number one cause of adult blindness in the U.S. The odds of diabetic retinopathy developing in a diabetic hinge on how extreme his blood sugar levels have become. If the patient's blood sugar levels have been higher than the target range for an extended period of time, the risk of diabetic retinopathy skyrockets.

How to Prevent Diabetic Retinopathy and Blindness

Diabetic retinopathy can be delayed or completely prevented if the patient takes note of its warning signs and combats the onset of the condition in a proactive manner. Symptoms of diabetic retinopathy include decreased in vision, fluctuation in vision, and observing floating spots, dark spots, rings or intermittent lights. Additional indicators include double vision and pressure in the eyes and general eye pain.

Since diabetic retinopathy is triggered by high glucose levels that damage blood vessels within the eyes, the best way to combat vision loss is to keep blood glucose under control. In general, those who have decent blood sugar control are able to avoid serious eye problems. Research also shows that the odds of diabetic retinopathy can be decreased by proactively treating high blood pressure.   

Can you imagine living with impaired vision or complete blindness? Your quality of life would dramatically suffer. Be proactive by taking care of your body and your eyes to combat the onset of diabetes and diabetic retinopathy. Broome Optical can help you in your quest to preserve your vision. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

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