Diabetic Eye Problems (Blindness) – You wouldn’t wish it on your worst enemy
I am sorry to open with a bad news but the news is so dreadful that it is important that you should know it first! – Diabetes is the major responsible cause of blindness among people aging 20 to 75. I didn’t know that too until one of my acquaintances started complaining about having bad eye sight around the time he got diabetes. Just out of curiosity, I goggled to see whether there is any relation between diabetes and eye problems and believe me, there is a hell lot to know about diabetic eye problems.
The first question that popped into my head was how high blood glucose level could cause eye problems? Actually high sugar level has an impact on our lenses, it made the lenses to swell and this in turn causes blurred vision, abnormal eye sight and several eye diseases.
One of the most leading diabetic eye problems is glaucoma. Let’s know about glaucoma first. In every one of us, our eyes produce water like fluid naming aqueous humor to provide enough nutrition for cornea and lenses. This aqueous humor leaves our eyes by a drainage system and then enters into the bloodstream. Now, in patients with glaucoma, the drainage network gets blocked and as a result the fluid finding no way to get back increases the pressure in the eye. In diabetes patients, increased sugar level causes abnormal growth of blood vessel which in turn blocks the drainage system. For this reason, diabetic patients have 40% more possibility to develop glaucoma than others.
Cataract is common both in diabetics and normal people but here also; the possibility of having cataracts is 60% more in diabetics than other people. People having cataracts will suffer from unclear vision due to clouding of the lenses. Our eye lenses work like cameras which focus on the images and definitely this clouding in front of the lens will cause impaired focusing leading to unclear visions. Diabetic patients get cataracts in early ages and it also spreads faster than the others.
Any disorders or diseases of retina due to diabetes are in general known as diabetic retinopathy. One of them is non proliferative retinopathy. Here, the capillaries located behind the eyes at first swell and then form sacks which cause blockade in the blood vessels. The most frightening ones is the proliferative retinopathy. Here, the vessels get so much injured that they get closed. The body, to keep the situation normal grows new blood vessels but the problem is, these new vessels are weaker and they can cause leakage of blood which leads to vision blocking. There is more to it. This new vessels also can form scar tissues and after the shrinkage of the scar tissue, the retina could be displaced or distorted. Most diabetes patients suffer from non proliferative retinopathy but proliferative retinopathy is quite rare in them.
Don’t get scared. Where there is a problem, there is a way. Glaucoma could be handled with medications usually with beta blockers to decrease the pressure and if couldn’t be controlled, the patient needs to go for surgery. To fight the cataracts in the early stages, glasses will suffice but in developed stages, the lenses need to be removed and normal patients may get new lenses by transplantation but in diabetic patients, lens transplantation could worsen retinopathy. Retinopathy is really a tough one to handle. Photocoagulation or vitrectomy is usually done to manage retinopathy. In photocoagulation, the experts make a small burn with laser on the retina. This burn sort of seals and stops the growth and leakage of blood vessel. In vitrectomy, surgery is performed for the removal of scar tissue and fluid from the eye.
Prevention is better than cure. So, the easiest solution is to keep the blood sugar level normal. Before entering into these complications focus to maintain the level normal, try to stay put to your medicines and diet and live a tension free, healthy, happy life.