Diabetes is a chronic disease that poses risks to your general health, and in particular to the health of your eyes.
If diabetes is not controlled, it can leave you blind, an important fact that thousands of people ignore, especially among specific groups such as Hispanics. Get up to date to protect your eyesight. Losing it means a negative impact on your quality of life.
We only know or value what we have the day we lose it. And the view is a perfect example. Can you imagine having enjoyed your visual ability all your life and losing it due to a chronic illness? Diabetes, when not controlled, is one of the great enemies of your visual health . But several recent studies have revealed that there is little awareness of this danger (at least in the United States), especially in certain groups, such as African-Americans and Hispanics.
Therefore, especially if you are diabetic or if you have risk factors for it, whether genetic or otherwise, it is important to have your eyes examined by an ophthalmologist at least once a year.
According to reports from the American Academy of Ophthalmology, a study recently published in the journal Opththalmology , conducted among the elderly, revealed an alarming fact. Of the patients diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration , glaucoma or diabetes, three-quarters of those who had not had an exam in five years were precisely diabetics… although all three conditions require an annual vision exam .
It is true that the expression “diabetic eye disease” is often used to refer to the visual problems that diabetics can face, but the truth is that it is not a single condition. The term covers several that diabetics have a higher risk of suffering from, and that can cause blindness if not treated on time. For example:
Diabetic retinopathy . It occurs when the small blood vessels in the eyes become inflamed, leaking fluid or closing completely, blocking blood flow to the retina. It affects 28.5 percent of people over 40 who have diabetes. At first it does not cause symptoms, but later it can cause changes in the eye, such as macular edema, the most common cause of vision loss in diabetics. Treatment consists of injections and surgery to remove the blood and scar tissue caused by the abnormal blood vessels.
Falls . They occur when the lens of the eye becomes cloudy, which makes vision blurry. Cataracts usually occur in people as they get older; but if you are diabetic, you are more likely to develop them earlier. Once the cataract progresses, it requires surgery to remove the cloudy lens and replace it with an artificial one, known as an intraocular lens.
glaucoma . This disease damages the optic nerve and peripheral vision. The cause of damage to the optic nerve is usually elevated pressure in the eye. Although glaucoma can affect anyone, diabetics are more likely to get it. It does not give noticeable symptoms in its early stages. Glaucoma is treated with medication such as eye drops or surgery, but if left untreated it can lead to blindness.
To manage these vision problems that diabetics are more prone to, the American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends that people with type 2 diabetes have a dilated eye exam when they are diagnosed with the disease, and afterward. one every year. Those with type 1 diabetes should start getting annual eye exams five years after being diagnosed.
If you are diabetic, it is important that you know the importance of regular eye exams and that you manage your diabetes. Think of everything you can lose, nothing less than your visual capacity and the quality of your life. Remember, control your diabetes , follow your doctor’s recommendations and visit the ophthalmologist at least once a year.