Just about every part of the body can be adversely affected by diabetes. Diabetes eye disorders are a common problem among patients. According to The University of Maryland Medical Center, diabetes can be blamed for thousands of new cases of blindness each year. It is also the leading cause of new cases of blindness in young and old adults. These startling statistics show the importance of optical care. Every person gets only one set of eyes. It is important for everyone to keep a close watch on the eyes’ wellbeing, but it is especially important for a person with diabetes.

When the retina of the eye becomes damaged as the result of diabetes, it is a condition known as diabetic retinopathy. Diabetes eye disorders happen as a result of the damage that diabetes does to the tiny blood vessels that are found throughout the body. Because the blood vessels become restricted (and sometimes blocked) blood flow is decreased or completely cut off. When this gets bad enough, the eyes will experience problems. The first sign of diabetic retinopathy is the appearance of soft, wooly areas in the nerve layer of the eye’s retina. New blood vessels can surface on the retina and run the risk of spreading to the eye’s cavity or causing bleeding in the back of the eye. Severe vision loss or blindness results with diabetes eye disorders when major hemorrhages occur. Retinal detachment is another serious risk associated with this problem. If a person reports seeing flashing lights in their range of vision, retinal detachment may be the cause.  Unfortunately, in many cases no symptoms are present as retinopathy progresses.

People with diabetes are at an increased risk of developing certain types of cataracts and glaucoma. Although cataracts often have little effect on a person’s vision, it can cause symptoms such as cloudy vision, double or blurry vision, glares, sensitivity to bright lights, colors appearing more faded than they really and a difficulty reading. Often, cataracts can be removed with simple routine surgical procedures. Glaucoma is a more serious condition when it comes to diabetes eye disorders. It is one of the leading causes of blindness and occurs when damage is done to the optic nerve due to increased pressure in the eye.

Diabetes eye disorders can be prevented or slowed by terminating and avoiding smoking. Also, limiting overexposure to sunlight can help. Ultimately, the essential steps people are encouraged to take to control the disease will also help in the area of diabetes eye disorders. Implementing a healthy diet, monitoring blood glucose levels and developing a consistent exercise routine will all help to shield against diabetes eye disorders. Also, scheduling annual eye exams is important because it can detect diabetes eye disorders in their early stages, increasing the chances of recovery and effective treatment.