Why Does Diabetes Make You Blind?

Why Does Diabetes Make You Blind
Diabetic Retinopathy – This common eye disease is the leading cause of blindness in working-age adults. Diabetic retinopathy is caused when high blood sugar damages blood vessels in the retina (a light-sensitive layer of cells in the back of the eye).

Damaged blood vessels can swell and leak, causing blurry vision or stopping blood flow. Sometimes new blood vessels grow, but they aren’t normal and can cause further vision problems. Diabetic retinopathy usually affects both eyes. Anyone with,, or (diabetes while pregnant) can develop diabetic retinopathy.

The longer you have diabetes, the more likely you are to develop it. These factors can also increase your risk:

, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels that are too high. Smoking. Race/ethnicity: African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, and American Indians/Alaska Natives are at higher risk.

If you have diabetic retinopathy, low-vision aids such as magnifying glasses and special lenses can help. Ask your eye doctor to refer you to a, Diabetic retinopathy has 2 main stages: Early stage (nonproliferative): Blood vessel walls in the retina weaken and bulge, forming tiny pouches (you won’t be able to detect them, but your eye doctor can).

These pouches can leak blood and other fluid, which can cause a part of the retina called the macula to swell (macular edema) and distort your vision. Macular edema is the most common cause of blindness in people with diabetic retinopathy. About half of people with diabetic retinopathy will develop macular edema.

Advanced stage (proliferative): In this stage, the retina begins to grow new blood vessels. These new vessels are fragile and often bleed into the vitreous (the clear gel between the lens and retina). With minor bleeding, you may see a few dark spots that float in your vision.

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Blurry vision Spots or dark shapes in your vision (floaters) Trouble seeing colors Dark or empty areas in your vision Vision loss

How long diabetes affect eyes?

How does diabetes affect my eyes? – Diabetes affects your eyes when your blood glucose, also called blood sugar, is too high. In the short term, you are not likely to have vision loss from high blood glucose. People sometimes have blurry vision for a few days or weeks when they’re changing their diabetes care plan or medicines.

High glucose can change fluid levels or cause swelling in the that help you to focus, causing blurred vision. This type of blurry vision is temporary and goes away when your glucose level gets closer to normal. If your blood glucose stays high over time, it can damage the tiny in the back of your eyes.

This damage can begin during, when blood glucose is higher than normal, but not high enough for you to be diagnosed with diabetes. Damaged blood vessels may leak fluid and cause swelling. New, weak blood vessels may also begin to grow. These blood vessels can bleed into the middle part of the eye, lead to scarring, or cause dangerously high pressure inside your eye.

What happens if you don’t look after type 2 diabetes?

If diabetes isn’t treated, it can lead to a number of other health problems. High glucose levels can damage blood vessels, nerves and organs. Even a mildly raised glucose level that doesn’t cause any symptoms can have long-term damaging effects.

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Is blurred vision from diabetes permanent?

Diabetic eye disease prevention – The best way to prevent diabetes-related eye problems is to manage your blood sugar levels, blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Ways you can help prevent eye problems caused by diabetes include:

  • Control your blood sugar. Your doctor can provide direction on how to keep your blood sugar normal and avoid fluctuations that can lead to diabetic eye diseases. “In addition to getting your eyes checked, it’s also very important to keep the blood sugars under control,” says Cai. “This is not only good for you overall, but also good for your eyes.”
  • Lower your blood pressure and cholesterol. Get recommendations from your doctor on ways you can combat high blood pressure and cholesterol, because these can worsen diabetic eye disease.
  • Stop smoking. Smoking can cause further damage to your blood vessels, including the ones in your eyes, so it’s very important to stop smoking.
  • Avoid harmful rays. Protect yourself from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays by wearing sunglasses. Exposure to these rays can speed up the progression of cataracts.

How do you reverse blurred vision from diabetes?

Don’t run out and buy a new pair of glasses as soon as you notice you have blurred vision. It could just be a temporary problem that develops rapidly and is caused by high blood sugar levels. High blood sugar causes the lens of the eye to swell, which changes your ability to see.

To correct this kind of blurred vision, you need to get your blood sugar back into the target range. For many people this is from70 mg/dL to 130 mg/dL before meals and less than 180 mg/dL one to two hours after the start of a meal. Ask your doctor what your personal target range should be. Blurred vision can also be a symptom of more serious eye problems,

If your vision is blurred, contact your doctor right away. The American Diabetes Association offers these eye care guidelines for people with diabetes :

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Adults with type 1 diabetes should have a full dilated eye exam within 5 years of their diagnosis.Adults with type 2 diabetes should have a complete eye exam soon after they have been diagnosed.Get a dilated eye exam if you are pregnant or planning to get pregnant,