As any ophthalmologist or Best Eye specialist in Lahore would tell you, there are numerous ways diabetes can impact your sight. In fact, uncontrolled diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in the age bracket 20 to 74. In uncontrolled or chronic diabetes, vision can be compromised due to microvascular and macrovascular changes. Read on to know what the impact of diabetes is on eyes and how to improve the eye health in diabetes:
What is the impact of diabetes on eye health?
Cataract formation is a consequence of diabetes. High levels of glucose when enter the lens, change to sorbitol which cannot be metabolized. This sorbitol then accumulates in the lens and causes cataract formation. People with diabetes get cataracts earlier than the general population, and tend to become serious faster. The symptoms of cataract are blurred vision and cloudy lens.
Glaucoma is increased intraocular pressure due to increased production of aqueous humor or decreased drainage of the latter. Increased intraocular pressure can damage the vasculature and the nerves of the eyes, which in untreated cases may result in permanent vision loss. Symptoms of glaucoma include intense headache, watery eyes, halos formation, blurred vision and visual loss. Diabetics tend to get neovascular glaucoma in which new blood vessels form.
Diabetic retinopathy occurs when the retina is affected by the high blood glucose levels. Retinal damage is secondary to the damage to the vasculature in the eye that can result in exudation of fluid or neovascularization. These new vessels are fragile and can bleed or clot. If detected early, it can be treated with laser procedure and surgery.
How to improve eye health in diabetes?
Keep blood sugar under control
The most obvious answer to improving eye health in diabetics is to keep the blood sugar levels under control. Most of the aforementioned pathologies arise when the blood sugar levels rise beyond normal for extended periods of time. Therefore, blood sugar levels should be checked regularly and medication adjusted accordingly if they are persistently high.
Cigarette smoke is rich in oxidative stressors and radicals that damage vasculature and eventually result in neovascularization. Chronic smokers can end up causing permanent damage to their vision, especially when combined with uncontrolled diabetes. For good eye health, smoking cessation is a must, and one way to go about it is to join a support group or taking help of a healthcare provider.
Keeping the cholesterol under control
When the bad cholesterol or LDL is high in the blood, especially with lower levels of good cholesterol or HDL, there is damage to the blood vessels and increased incidence of clotting.
Keeping the blood pressure under control
Uncontrolled hypertension tends to damage the microvasculature. This results in formation of new and less stable vessels which impact vision and retinal health. Keeping the blood pressure in control helps the vision and improves the overall health.
Get a complete eye check-up annually
A detailed annual eye exam by a certified ophthalmologist or Best Eye specialist in Islamabad with dilation of the pupil helps in early detection of eye diseases. It also allows the healthcare provider to thoroughly examine the optic nerve and retina for signs of early disease. Regular examinations allow early treatment to begin as soon as there is sign of trouble.