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Diabetes is an extremely common problem. People are not just battling with this disease, they also have to deal with the multiple side effects it can have on one’s body. One such side effect is blurry vision. Let’s see how diabetes can affect your eyes.
Health Shots reached out to Prof Dr Mahipal Singh Sachdev, an Ophthalmologist and Medical Director at Center for Sight, to talk about it. He says, “Diabetes is turning out to be one of the most common causes of blindness in the world as the longer a person lives with diabetes, the more prone they become to having diabetic complications which affects their eyes, kidneys and nerves among other organs.”
Diabetes is a complex metabolic disease in which the pancreas doesn’t produce enough, or any amount of insulin, which can affect the eye, including the retina, vitreous, lens, and the optic nerve.
Can diabetes lead to a blurry vision?
As a diabetic patient, has your vision ever blurred or become hazy, especially when your blood sugar levels are high? Well, it is not a sign of you feeling faint.
Dr Sachdev explains that this happens because “in patients with diabetes, the small retinal blood vessels become weak which causes them to leak, swell or develop brush-like branches. This deterioration causes the retina blood vessels to not supply enough oxygen and nutrients to the retina which ultimately leads to blurred vision. Worsening of this condition can cause a person to experience cloudiness in vision, blind spots, floaters or even sudden loss of vision.”
Eye diseases that can be caused because of diabetes?
Diabetes patients are susceptible to developing following eye diseases. “All of these conditions can cause vision loss, but early detection and treatment can greatly improve your chances of keeping your sight,” says Dr Sachdev.
* Diabetic Retinopathy
* Macular Edema (which typically occurs in conjunction with diabetic retinopathy)
What can a diabetes patient do to prevent eye problems?
1. Maintain a healthy lifestyle
A healthy lifestyle is said to be the answer to any ailment, especially when it comes to diabetes. “In order to prevent Diabetic Retinopathy one must follow healthy lifestyle choices by keeping their blood sugar levels, blood pressure and cholesterol levels under control,” says Dr Sachdev.
2. Quit smoking or drinking
Studies have shown that three modifiable behaviors – smoking, drinking alcohol, and physical activity were associated with changes in vision. Dr Sachdev suggests that cutting out bad habits like smoking and drinking while maintaining a healthy level of fitness could go a long way in preventing Diabetic Retinopathy.
3. Protection from sun
By wearing sunglasses, you can shield your eyes from the sun’s dangerous UV radiations. Dr Sachdev says that cataract development can be accelerated by exposure to these rays. So, always wear sunglasses when stepping out in the sun and also sometimes you can use mild lubricating eye drops to clear out the dirt.
4. Get regular eye check ups
“A diabetic person should keep getting regular eye checkups done in the span of six months or three months depending on your blood sugar level,” suggests Dr Sachdev. Early detection of diabetes complications related to the eyes can prevent vision damage.