95% of people diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy, if treated promptly, can avoid significant vision loss.
Diabetes is a disease that affects our entire body. Once the body struggles to convert sugar in the blood into energy due to diabetes, individuals will need to counteract these effects with proper dieting, medication, and monitoring their health carefully.
While diabetes can affect various areas of one's health, diabetes directly affects eye health because the eye's retina has various blood vessels. Damage caused from swelling or leakage from those blood vessels is called diabetic retinopathy. Any damage of the retinal tissue will result in vision loss, and when left unmanaged or untreated, diabetic retinopathy can lead to blindness.
The longer an individual has had diabetes, the more likely it is that they will have some degree of retinopathy.
Diabetes increases the likelihood that common diabetes-related vision problems or diseases might occur:
- Diabetics are prone to developing cataracts (a clouding of the eye’s lens) at an earlier age.
- People with diabetes are almost 50% more likely to develop glaucoma, an eye disorder that damages the optic nerve often marked by an increase of internal eye pressure.
- Macular edema (and macular degeneration) are more common in diabetics due to malfunctioning blood vessels in the middle region of the retina responsible for central, sharp vision.
- Most notably, diabetes can result in diabetic retinopathy; an eye disease that affects the blood vessels in the all-important retina. Nearly 45 percent of Americans diagnosed with diabetes have some stage of diabetic retinopathy.
That’s why there’s no separating diabetes and vision. If you have diabetes, then you should understand vision problems that increase in likelihood as a result of the disease.
An annual diabetic eye exam is generally covered by your medical insurance to keep your diabetes in check and your eye health stable. Schedule your next diabetic eye exam at Envision Eye Care for the latest technology in comprehensive eye care for diabetics.