Diabetes occur when the body fails to produce the right amount of insulin hormone. Insulin regulates the way your body uses the food you have eaten, lack of insulin prevents the breaking down of sugar and carbohydrates , increasing the blood sugar level of the body.
Diabetes can cause serious damages to various parts of your body, including your eyes.
Diabetic patients are susceptible to
- Diabetic Retinopathy- where diabetes affect the tine blood vessels of an eye and if they become blocked or leak ,then the retina and vision, will be affected
- Diabetic Maculopathy- Light entering your eye focuses onto a tiny area of the retina called the macula.Maculopathy occurs when diabetes affects your macula.When this happens, your central vision will be affected and you may find it difficult to see detail such as recognizing people’s faces or seeing small prints.
- Cataracts- it is the clouding of the eyes, where the the light fails to enter the eyes causing blurring or dimming of vision. This is common to people who are aged, but the situation is hastened among diabetics.
- Temporary Blurring- uncontrolled diabetes, cause fluctuations in blood sugar levels, which in turn affects your vision. It can come and go along the day.
- Diabetic Glaucoma-commonly referred as the “thief of eyesight”, glaucoma sets in unnoticed, gradually leading to blindness if left untreated. Glaucoma is caused by the increase in eye pressure. The risk increases imminently if you are above 40, of Asian or African ancestry ,have a family history of glaucoma and suffer from diabetes
What is Diabetic Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a condition where the eye pressure increases, constricting the optic nerves, impairing them, leading to loss of vision. Eyes create a clear fluid called the aqueous humor, which is circulated in the front of the eyes and flowed out by the eyes through a meshwork. When this meshwork gets blocked the pressure in side the eyes or the intraocular pressure rises, damaging the optic nerves which carries the images to the brain. People with diabetes are thrice more likely to develop glaucoma than those who are non-diabetic, especially if they are the over the age of 40.
When to contact your ophthalmologist if you are diabetic?
You need to contact an ophthalmologist if any of the mentioned problems occur:
- Black spots in your vision
- Flashes of light.
- “Holes” in your vision.
- Blurred vision.
How to prevent Diabetic Glaucoma:
Never fail to attend the annual diabetic-glaucoma screening programme
Speak to your diabetic clinic if you feel any changes in your vision
Control your blood sugar, monitor regularly and take necessary medications
Do not be afraid to discuss your problems with your doctors and ophthalmologist.
Exercise regularly to keep control of your sugar level
Learning that you have glaucoma can be difficult, specially because by the time it’s diagnosed, there has been some loss of eyesight. However, with prompt and proper treatment, and proactive management of your diabetes, blindness often can be avoided.