The link between diabetes and eye problems

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Both Type I and Type 2 diabetes can have a significant impact on all areas of your life, from the nerve endings in your feet to your ability to concentrate. One aspect of diabetes that it is important to educate oneself about is the strong link between diabetes and problems with vision. Understanding how this link works will make it easier to manage any negative impact that diabetes is having on your vision, and to minimize any associated symptoms.

How does diabetes affect your vision?

As you may well already know, diabetes causes the glucose levels in your blood to soar, and also to dip dramatically. High blood glucose levels in their turn can lead to the swelling of the lenses in your eyes, resulting in a condition called retinopathy. If you suffer from retinopathy, it is likely that you will experience some degree of blurred vision. This is because the swelling will most acutely affect the part of your eye that is responsible for focusing, central vision, and seeing fine details. Moreover, blurry vision is often one of the first warning signs of diabetes. Many diabetes sufferers go to their doctor with vision problems and leave with a diagnosis of diabetes.

Diabetes, as mentioned above, also causes your blood sugar levels to dip to often dangerous levels. This can result in faintness and dizziness, and it can also affect your vision causing it to become blurred. Low blood sugar levels can also cause double vision. However, in this case, changes to the shape of the lenses in your eyes are not the root cause of these vision problems. Rather, it is the fact that your brain is lacking glucose that causes you to have general trouble focusing on anything. That can mean difficulty concentrating on that book you are reading or that TV show you are watching, difficulty holding a coherent conversation, and difficulty focusing your eyes for any substantial period of time.

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As diabetes progresses: the threat of cataracts.

If you have lived with diabetes for a long period of time, then you will be at greater risk of developing cataracts in your eyes. This is because, along with smoking, diabetes can cause proteins to accumulate in your eyes and as they join together these proteins can cause sizeable cataracts. Cataracts can be treated with surgery, though it can be difficult to completely cure the problem and they can also recur after the surgery.

Managing your vision related symptoms of diabetes.

Diabetes is easy to manage, particularly if you are diagnosed early. Getting your regular insulin doses as and when they are required will enable you to control your blood sugar levels. In addition, eating a very healthy diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables (green leafy veggies such as turnip greens, chard, and kale are particularly good for warding off cataracts) and keeping your body healthy with regular exercise will help to minimize the impact of diabetes on your body and mind. If you have any further questions about diabetes and vision, simply ask a medical professional.

*The author of this blog is not a medical professional and this article does not contain professional medical advice. This blog is not intended to substitute for medical advice, treatment, or diagnosis. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of the contents of this article. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call 911 immediately.

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