Diabetes increases the risk of eye problems and may lead to blindness. People with uncontrolled diabetes do have a higher risk of developing eye diseases known as glaucoma, cataracts and retinopathy.
Glaucoma happens when the major nerve that feeds the eye (also known as optic nerve) is damaged. It starts with unnoticeable blind spots at the edges of the field of vision, progressing to vision loss and then to blindness. Treatment varies and includes medication and surgery.
Cataracts is a clouding of the lens inside the eye which leads to blurred and dim vision. It is the most common cause of blindness and is treated with surgery.
Retinopathy is a general term for all disorders of the retina (a light-sensitive layer at the back of the eye) caused by diabetes. Uncontrolled blood sugar levels, high blood pressure levels, and prolonged history of diabetes increase risk of retinopathy
Steps to prevent the problem include:
- Keeping blood sugar and blood pressure levels within control and quitting smoking.
- Screening for eye diseases must be done on yearly basis as an early preventive measure.