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Know the Risks and Symptoms of Diabetic Eye Disease

Diabetes is a complex disease which can lead to a multitude of health problems. A lot of people aren't aware of how it can put you at risk of developing a few eye-related diseases. These conditions include diabetic retinopathy, cataracts and glaucoma, and also several other conditions that, even when seemingly unrelated to your sight, can still worsen your vision.

What is diabetic retinopathy? It occurs as a result of high blood glucose levels causing damage to the retina, and is one of the main causes of blindness in adults in the developed world.

Even though cataracts, which lead to the loss of vision, and are a common result of getting older, a lot of people don't know that diabetes can lead to the early development of them.

Your odds of developing glaucoma, another condition that can seriously deplete your vision, double when you've got diabetes. Glaucoma comes about as a result of increased pressure in the eye, resulting in damage of nerves in the eye and loss of vision.

All diabetes sufferers, type 1 or 2, are at increased risk of diabetic eye disease. The risk is even higher if the diabetes is uncontrolled. Other risks include obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, poor diet and exercise, and smoking.

Symptoms of diabetic eye diseases generally fluctuate with blood sugar levels. These often include:

  • Blurry or distorted vision which is subject to fluctuation
  • Blind spots or floaters
  • Double vision
  • Eye Pain
  • Scotoma
  • Problems with near vision
  • Corneal abrasions

It's really important to be aware that the onset of diabetic eye disease can occur before symptoms are noticed.

Early detection can often mean the difference between sight and total blindness and is usually central to avoiding subsequent deterioration of vision and recovery of sight. With this is mind, it is strongly advised that those with diabetes have an annual eye exam, to make certain that everything is okay. If you or a loved one have diabetes, it's so important to be sure you are educated about how to steer clear of diabetic eye disease. A yearly eye exam, and proper preventative measures, can save your vision.

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