What is the connection between diabetes and eye sight? by Leighton Griffiths Store Director at Specsavers Opticas Marbella.
There are 400 million diabetes sufferers worldwide and research suggests that the number will reach 592 million by 2035. As diabetes is a common cause of blindness we wanted to share some useful information about diabetes and the eye.
Q. How can diabetes affect my eyes?
A. Diabetes affects the small blood vessels and capillaries of the body. The walls of these vessels can develop small bulges (micro-aneurysms) and become ‘leaky’. Diabetic changes can occur in the blood vessels at the back of the eye. When diabetes results in these changes, it is referred to as diabetic retinopathy. Diabetes can also have other ocular pathological effects including cataracts and retinal detachments. Severe changes, if left untreated, can result in blindness.
Q. How can these changes be identified?
A. A symptom of diabetic retinopathy developing is blurry vision which can often come and go throughout the day, if you experience this issue get an eye test right away. Haemorrhages (blood leaking out of the vessels) and leaking fluid (oedema) can sometimes be detected by an eye examination.
Q. How can I reduce my risk of suffering vision loss?
A. The better the diabetes is controlled, the less likely vision issues will occur. However, the longer the patient has been diabetic, the greater the chances of eye disease.
Q. Can the damage be treated?
A. The sooner the problem is identified, the easier it can be treated, however even if it has progressed often the affected vessels can be cauterised by laser to reduce the damage.
Q. I am worried I might have diabetes what should I do?
A. Go to your doctor or your local diabetes association for a test.
Specsavers Opticas Marbella, is located on Avda. de Ricardo Soriano 12, Local 5A. They have Digital Retinal Cameras which help opticians to see the back of the eye and use this cutting edge technology as standard as part of their thorough eye test.