The changes that occur in your circulatory system with diabetes have a direct impact on your eyes. The affect on your eyes can be slow, but damaging. If you have diabetes, periodic eye exams are necessary to catch these eye issues before they become serious and result in vision loss. Here are the common ways that diabetes can impact your vision.
Blood Vessel Integrity Is Affected
Diabetes causes the walls of the blood vessels in your eyes to become weak. Some of the blood vessels will constrict, creating a higher pressure in them, while others will expand and begin to leak fluid. Changes in the blood vessels in your eyes will be what your eye doctor looks for during your eye exams.
Diabetes and Retinal Damage
These defective blood vessels affect the effectiveness of your retina, which is responsible for collecting the light you use to see. Vision changes in the person with diabetes are often the result of damage to the retina in one of two ways:
Nonproliferative retinopathy - If these weak blood vessels begin to leak fluid out onto the retina, the light will be blocked from getting to the surface and cause blurry vision. As the leaking continues and the fluid dries on the retina, you'll develop dark or gray areas in your vision.
Proliferative retinopathy - In this case, tiny new blood vessels form on the retina. They are weak and easily damaged, causing scar tissue. As the scar tissue builds up on the retina, it can be pulled away from the back of the eye. A detached retina is a common cause of diabetic blindness.
Signs of the Diabetes Impact on Your Vision
Let your eye doctor know if you have any of the following symptoms. They indicate that the diabetic changes in your eyes have become serious enough to affect your vision.
- can't focus on reading material
- gray shapes float across your vision
- shadows often appear in your vision
- feeling of pressure in your eye
- eyes become tired quickly
Treatment for Diabetic Eye Issues
The damage to your eyes can be slowed down, but not reversed. Early detection of any eye problems will let your doctor begin treatment and prevent a loss of vision. Some of the common treatment options for diabetic eye issues include:
- Laser treatment - This is used to dry up the wet spots on your retina or to destroy the new, weak blood vessels that form in your eye.
- Pressure release - Some of the gel that is in your eye to help it maintain its shape can be removed to reduce the pressure in your eye.
- Injections - Anti-inflammatory medications can be injected into the eye to slow the development of the new vessels.
For more information, make an appointment at a local clinic like The Eye Depot.