Diabetes is one in all the leading causes of blindness in the US. It’s estimated that greater than 14 million Americans have some type of diabetes. Public health officials expect that by 2050, there can be greater than 48 million diagnosed cases in the US.
Diabetes is caused when the pancreas either doesn’t produce enough insulin or is unable to process insulin appropriately. The disease poses quite a few complications for the eyes, including fluctuations with eyeglass or contact lens prescriptions; cataracts at a younger age; increased risk of developing glaucoma; and diabetic retinopathy, which is probably the most serious risk.
The retina is the wall-like structure that lines the back of the attention; it’s made up of light-sensitive tissue and a network of blood vessels. In cases of diabetes, the blood vessels of the retina can begin to leak fluid, blood, or cholesterol deposits on the retina. Additionally it is possible that abnormal blood vessels will form and could cause serious bleeding and scarring of the retina.
Diabetic retinopathy regularly has no accompanying symptoms until it’s advanced, at which point it’s harder to treat.
The results of diabetic retinopathy vary by case, but some common symptoms include blurred vision and a sudden, temporary lack of sight. In late stages of the disease, abnormal vessel growth can result in retinal detachment and glaucoma.
The longer an individual lives with diabetes, the greater their risk of developing diabetic retinopathy. After five years with diabetes, an individual’s risk of development is around 20 percent; after 15 years, the chance increases to about 80 percent. Diabetic retinopathy is the leading reason for blindness amongst people aged 20 to 64 within the U.S.
Studies have shown that those that have good control over their diabetes and thoroughly monitor their glucose levels have a decreased risk of developing sight-threatening complications. As well as, it will be significant to treat hypertension. Also, those that smoke usually tend to have hypertension and better blood sugar levels, which makes diabetes harder to regulate. Not smoking and maintaining good glucose and blood pressure levels can reduce one’s risk of diabetes-related vision problems.
Diabetic retinopathy is usually treated with laser beams that each seal the leaky blood vessels and forestall more from developing. Laser treatment is usually successful at maintaining vision if the retinopathy is found early, however it just isn’t able to restoring vision that’s already lost.
Although diabetic retinopathy is probably the most serious vision impairment, blurred vision and cataracts can even affect diabetics. Blurred vision might be an early symptom of diabetes and can even occur when the disease just isn’t being well controlled. Within the case of cataracts, the lens of the attention becomes cloudy causing vision to be blurred or dimmed. It generally afflicts people as they age, but can affect younger individuals who’ve diabetes. Treatment involves removal of the clouded lens and alternative with a specialized inert plastic lens called an intraocular lens.
Most sight loss from diabetes is preventable. It’s crucial for diabetics to have their eyes checked annually, even in the event that they are usually not experiencing any vision problems.