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Diabetes and Vision Loss

Diabetes and Vision Loss

Diabetes is a cruel affliction whose baneful clutches often spread over a lot of other bodily organs and their functions. The following article tells you all about diabetes and vision loss and ways to manage this condition.
Ishani Chatterjee Shukla
Trying to manage diabetes is hard because if you don't, there are consequences you'll have to deal with later in life. ~ Bryan Adams

Diabetes may begin as an issue involving insufficient insulin production or lack of cellular response to insulin by the body, it stays on to cause damage to many other organs and physiological functions of the body. The primary effect of diabetes is seen as high blood sugar and the body's inability to regulate blood sugar levels. This high blood sugar is what ultimately leads to many other complications in various regions of the body that are brought on by diabetes. One such condition is the deterioration or loss of vision. The following segments deal with details on diabetes and a resultant loss of vision along with ways to manage this condition.

Diabetes and Vision Loss - An Overview

When it comes to diabetes and all other afflictions brought on by it, unregulated and fluctuating blood sugar is the key culprit in most of the cases. Vision loss and impairment is no exception to this phenomenon. Let's take a quick look at some common vision issues that often accompany diabetes.
  • Vision Fluctuation: One of the most common vision impairments brought on by diabetes is fluctuating vision. People suffering from it experience alternate episodes of rise and fall in their near-sightedness or farsightedness. This is caused by random fluctuation in blood sugar levels which causes the crystalline lens of the eyes to change shape.
  • Macular Edema: In this condition, the sufferer loses his/her ability to focus his/her vision on a specific object. This visual diffusion is caused when the sensitive tissue that forms the macular center of the retina gets swollen up. This macular swelling compresses and destroys ocular blood vessels which lead to deterioration and, eventually, loss of central sharp vision.
  • Diabetic Retinopathy: Vascular blockage in the retina or formation of leaks in tiny ocular blood vessels cause eyesight to be partially or completely obstructed, depending upon the severity of the condition. However, as long as the blockage or leaks do not affect the macula, it is very difficult to discern any issues with one's eyesight. A progressed state is known as proliferative diabetic retinopathy in which the larger ocular blood vessels are also affected.
  • Other Obstructive Vision Conditions: Formation of vision obstructing conditions such as glaucoma (abnormal vascular growths in the frontal ocular regions) , cataracts and diplopia (double vision) may also occur in diabetes patients over time. All these conditions are caused by high blood sugar levels and frequent fluctuations thereof.
Diabetes and Vision Loss Treatment

Almost all of these ocular conditions can be avoided to a great extent by going for frequent eye tests and taking corrective measures right at the onset, especially when one has already been diagnosed with diabetes. Treatment of visual conditions such as vision fluctuations and low vision often comprises prescribing corrective eye glasses to patients. Other conditions such as diabetic retinopathy, macular edema, cataracts, etc. can be corrected by laser surgery. Taking the prescribed diabetes medications regularly and punctually help keep the blood glucose levels in check and this helps significantly in keeping diabetes-related vision issues from taking place.

Last but not the least, diet plays an extremely important part in determining how healthy a life a person with diabetes can lead. Following a strict low carb, sugar-free diabetes diet is of utmost importance as any dietary indiscretion can lead to fatal health casualties. As mentioned before, a person having diabetes must never miss out on any of his regular check up appointments with his/her doctor. Also, medical attention should be sought immediately on experiencing any sort of physical discomfort - including vision problems. Remember, early detection can actually nip the problem in the bud.