There are many different forms of diabetes eye damage. This is commonly referred to as diabetic retinopathy. According to the Livestrong foundation, retinopathy is the most common long-term complication associated with diabetes mellitus. Diabetes eye damage occurs when the blood vessels that supply the eye’s retina become damaged, inflamed, leak fluid or experience abnormal growth. The retina is a light-sensitive membrane that coats the back of the eye. When it is not being supplied properly from blood vessels, vision is affected. It is estimated that up to half of diabetic patients who have the disease for ten years experience some degree of diabetes eye damage.

Cataracts are another form of diabetes eye damage. Cataracts occur when the lens of the eye becomes clouded or thickened. People who have diabetes mellitus are at a higher risk of developing cataracts because of the blood vessel damage that so often takes place. Because cataracts affect the eye’s lens (the part of the eye that keeps the vision in focus), vision can become affected in a negative way when cataracts are present. When this happens, they can be surgically removed.

Another type of diabetes eye damage is glaucoma. Like cataracts, people who have diabetes have a greater likelihood of getting glaucoma. This disease causes pressure to build up in the eyes, decreasing blood flow to the retina and optic nerve. When this happens, eye damage from diabetes occurs. Glaucoma is a leading cause for irreversible blindness, making early detection essential. Medications can be prescribed that decrease pressure inside the eyes. Surgery is another treatment option for glaucoma.


How To Break The Cycle For Eye Damage From Diabetes


The first and most important step a person can take to prevent eye damage from diabetes is to make routine appointments with their eye doctor. It is very essential for a person with diabetes mellitus to schedule a visit with an eye doctor at least once a year to make sure damage is not occurring. Although there are commonly no symptoms experienced in the early stages of eye damage from diabetes, they can ultimately lead to blindness. The earlier a problem is detected, the better the chances are that it can be fixed through surgical procedures. Doctors sometimes use lasers to treat diabetes eye damage. These types of procedures can usually be done in an eye clinic. However, sometimes more complex surgeries are needed that have to be performed in a hospital or surgery center.

Of course, the other steps recommended for keeping diabetes under control will also reduce the risk of diabetes eye damage from occurring. These include keeping blood glucose levels in check through a healthy diet and exercise program. Also, a person should avoid smoking because it has devastating effects on blood vessels which commonly leads to diabetes eye damage.