Diabetes & Eye Problems
The high blood glucose levels of diabetes affect many parts of the body, eyes included. In fact, US NEWS and World Report say that diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in the American population. At Retina and Vitreous of Louisiana, Dr. Couvillion, Dr. Noguchi, and Dr. Mason carefully watch their diabetic patients, help them avoid vision complications. They also provide state-of-the-art treatments to restore eyes to full health and function.
It's a highly complex structure, with each part impacted by your overall health. When uncontrolled, the high blood sugar levels characteristic of diabetes damage the eye in many ways. It takes strict diabetes maintenance to keep vision sharp and the eye itself healthy.
Vision problems related to diabetes
Glaucoma: Characterized by increased pressure inside the eyeball itself (intraocular pressure), untreated glaucoma can cause blindness. There are multiple types of glaucoma. Some are related to eye structure, steroid use, diabetes and more.
Retinopathy: degrades the eye's ability to receive and send light signals to the brain. The retina is the highly vascularized layer of cells on the inside back surface of the eyeball. With retinopathy, tiny blood vessels proliferate and impede vision clarity. These little vessels can bleed, too, due to high blood glucose levels.
Cataracts: Even people without diabetes develop cataracts over time as their lenses become stiff and cloudy. Diabetics experience cataracts more quickly and of greater severity than people who have normal blood glucose levels. Typical symptoms of cataracts include seeing halos around lights (such as car headlights and street lamps) and needing brighter and brighter illumination to perform everyday tasks.
Blurred vision: Diabetics experience fuzzy, imprecise images that occur consistently and do not clear easily.
Macular degeneration: Diabetes deteriorates the small oval structure in the middle of the retina. This macula helps create the images in the center of the field of vision. The macular disease comes from heredity, age (over 50) and high blood sugars.
Stay on top of your vision
The American Diabetes Association says that most people with diabetes suffer only minor eye problems over time. Medical supervision by your primary care physician and highly-skilled eye specialists, such as Dr. Couvillion, Dr. Noguchi, and Dr. Mason, helps preserve sight.