Diabetes, how does it affect eyesight?

Diabetes It is a disease that, unfortunately, can have repercussions throughout our body. That includes the sense of sight, which can be significantly affected due to it.

It is a chronic disease in which our body is not able to produce or use insulin. Insulin is the ‘key’ that allows glucose to pass from the blood into the cells. When this does not happen, glucose increases your blood concentration.

According to the World Health Organization, there are around 422 million diabetics in the world. In fact, It is believed that in 2030, diabetes will be the seventh cause of mortality.

The incidence continues to increase due to our inadequate lifestyle. Diet and sedentary lifestyle play a very important role in the development of this pathology, although other factors, such as genetics, also influence.

It is estimated that around 15% of type 1 diabetics and almost 40% of type 2 suffer from diabetic retinopathy. It is a complication that occurs in the eyes and leads to a progressive loss of vision. In this article we explain how diabetes influences your eyesight.

How does diabetes affect eyesight?

Diabetes, as we have already mentioned, brings with it an increase in blood glucose levels. This, at specific times, does not have to cause any damage to the eye.

However, when diabetes is not well controlled and glucose remains high for a long time, damage to blood vessels throughout the body can occur. In fact, this often occurs frequently in people who do not even know they are diabetic and are not controlled.

At the beginning, what happens is that glucose causes fluid to seep into tissues. It is what is known as edema, which results in a swelling of any area by accumulation of that fluid.

Further, poorly controlled diabetes also stimulates the formation of new blood vessels in the eye. These vessels are weak, so they have a tendency to break and cause bleeding. They usually form around the retina, which is one of the causes of vision disturbance.

It is also true that diabetes it can increase the pressure inside the eye. All these situations (the increase in pressure, the creation of weak vessels and edema), end up causing the vision to alter.

The eye diseases that are mainly related to diabetes They are:

  • Diabetic retinopathy
  • The falls
  • Macular edema.

We explain what each of them consists of.

Diabetic retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy consists of retinal damage, which is the light sensitive eye tissue that allows vision. It is a progressive pathology in which, at first, small areas of inflammation appear in the blood vessels that provide blood to the retina.

As time goes by, these vessels become clogged and the blood flow that reaches this area is reduced. In the absence of oxygenated blood, The body causes new blood vessels to be created to nourish the retina.

The problem is that the new vessels that are created are weak and have a tendency to break. When this happens, the presence of blood in that area causes vision to alter, since it prevents the retina from being in the necessary conditions.

The most typical symptom is blurred vision or continuous vision of spots. In addition, the view is gradually lost and there are even areas where it is completely lost.

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Diabetes cataracts

Cataracts consist of the lens, which is that transparent lens of the eye that allows the rays of light to pass correctly, becomes opaque and does not let the light pass. This occurs because the lens takes the excess glucose in the body to transform it into sorbitol, a substance that, when accumulated in the lens, creates opacity.

Macular edema due to diabetes

The macula is the part of the eye that allows us to see in detail and is also responsible for the central vision. Macular edema consists of an accumulation of fluid around the macula due to diabetes. Because of this, the vision process cannot be carried out correctly either.

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In conclusion

There are many alterations that occur at the level of sight as a result of diabetes. Therefore, it is important to take care of yourself and see a doctor if you have any questions. It is necessary to keep a strict control of the glucose level to avoid all these situations.