Three Serious Vision Problems Caused by Diabetes
Diabetes can cause a number of problems for your eyes, especially if it is not controlled properly. According to the National Institutes of Health, diabetes is the primary contributing factor to new cases of blindness in the U.S. for those between the ages of 20 and 74 years of age. Glaucoma, cataracts, and diabetic retinopathy are the three most common reasons for vision loss in patients with diabetes. Scheduling regular visits with an experienced Houston eye surgeon can reduce the risk of blindness and can help you manage diabetes symptoms more effectively for better health and vision.
Pressure inside the eye is primarily responsible for the loss of vision associated with glaucoma. Because of the usual lack of symptoms, permanent eye damage and vision loss can occur without a person knowing they have the disease. In the great majority of cases, glaucoma does not cause symptoms until late in the disease, or if the eye pressure is so high it causes headaches, blurred vision, eye pain, halo effects around lights, and dizziness or nausea. If left untreated, glaucoma can cause damage to the optic nerve and may result in permanent blindness. Eye drops are usually the first course of treatment for glaucoma. Consulting with a physician who specializes in Houston laser eye surgery procedures can provide you with added options regarding the care and treatment of diabetes-related glaucoma.
Patients with diabetes are also more susceptible to cataracts that form because of high sugar levels in the lens of the eye. LASIK providers can deliver the most effective surgical strategies for treating cataracts and restoring clear vision for diabetes patients. By identifying and addressing these issues promptly, you can protect your eyes against the worst side effects of diabetes.
The most serious visual complication of diabetes, diabetic retinopathy occurs when the walls of small blood vessels in the back of the eye become weaker. This causes bulges in the blood vessels serving the retina. Over time, these bulges break or leak, allowing fluid to leak into the retina. Retinopathy is divided into two general categories:
- Non-proliferative retinopathy can cause blindness but does not result in the abnormal growth of blood vessels in the retina.
- Proliferative retinopathy, by contrast, does involve the growth of new blood vessels in the retina that can burst or cause scar tissue to form. This is generally considered the more serious of the two types of retinopathy.
Each of these categories of diabetic retinopathy can result in vision loss or blindness caused by swelling, burst blood vessels, and the development of scar tissue inside the back of the eye. Seeking the help of an eye care professional is essential to prevent these serious complications in diabetes patients.
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