People with diabetes should have their eyes examined at least once a year. There are usually no symptoms or pain of Diabetic Eye Disease until it becomes severe. Between 40 - 45 percent of diabetic people have some form of diabetic retinopathy. There are several complications that may result in those with diabetes, such as:
Diabetic Retinopathy - This is the most common diabetic eye disease, and is a leading cause of blindness in (American) adults. This affects the retinal blood vessels in which some may swell and leak fluid, or abnormal new blood vessels may grow on the retinal surface. Each symptom gone untreated can result in vision loss or even blindness.
Cataracts - Clouding of the lens. They can develop at an earlier age in people with diabetes than they normally would in non-diabetic people.
Glaucoma - Increase of fluid pressure within the eye that can damage the optic nerve. Diabetic people are twice as likely to develop glaucoma.
The most common form of cataract is age-related. A cataract is a clouding of the lens behind the pupil that causes vision loss. The eye's lens is made up primarily of water and protein. As we age, some of the proteins can clump together, reducing the light that reaches the back of the retina. Wearing sunglasses during any time spent outside, in any season, can help to prevent age-related cataracts from forming later in life. Other than age, studies have found that smoking and diabetes can also contribute to the formation of cataracts. Since cataracts start out small enough to go undetected, it is important to get routine eye exams to monitor your eye health.Although not all people with cataracts need surgery, it is one of the most common surgeries performed in the U.S. The surgeon removes the cataract, replacing it with a clear lens.
Macular Degeneration is an eye disease that affects your central vision. In the back of the eye is the macula, which helps to produce our central vision. When this area is diseased, or damaged, it causes objects in our central vision to become blurred. In other cases, lines become distorted or there may be a blind spot. Most macular degeneration is painless, and age-related, advancing so slowly that it has minor affects on vision as we age. However, women do tend to be at a greater risk, and those with a family history of the condition have been found to be at a higher risk for Macular Degeneration. As with other eye conditions, smoking can also increase the risk of developing
There are two forms of Macular Degeneration:
DRY - most common form, 90% of people who have macular degeneration have this type. The light sensitive cells in the slowly break down, central vision becomes blurred. Scientists have still not found definite causes for this condition.
WET - the dry form can turn into wet. This type has been found to affect 10% of the population who have macular degeneration. With this type, straight lines will appear wavy, and a blind spot can also develop.
Glaucoma is a condition in which the intraocular pressures may or may not be elevated, and is a leading cause of blindness in the United States. This disease begins with no symptoms or pain. However, as the condition progresses, peripheral vision begins to fade. The most common test for glaucoma is the detested pressure ("air puff") test, which is able to measure the intraocular pressures. If left untreated, vision loss and even blindness can occur. There are several different types of glaucoma, for more information visit: http://www.glaucoma.org/glaucoma/