HOW DOES DIABETES AFFECT VISION?
by ANGEL BALLESTEROS on Jan 08, 2021
We are going to start by explaining that diabetes is a chronic disease that affects multiple organs, and is due to very high blood sugar, glucose, levels.
Glucose is acquired from the food we eat.
The hormone insulin comes into play, which helps transport glucose in the blood to the muscle where it will be used as a source of energy.
The problem appears when glucose remains in the bloodstream and is not transported to the muscle cells, thus mainly damaging the eyes, kidneys, nerves and blood vessels, among others.
Focusing on the visual system, diabetes can cause diseases such as diabetic retinopathy, diabetic macular edema, cataracts and/or glaucoma, among others.
Diabetic retinopathy is the most important visual manifestation of diabetes, since the high level of sugar in the retinal blood vessels prevents their correct irrigation and causes an outflow of blood and fluids towards the retina itself.
It is an asymptomatic disease, so it could cause irreversible blindness, which is why it is very important to maintain adequate glycemic control and perform periodic visual examinations.
Despite being a disease in which the person cannot realize that they have it, different signs or signals may appear, such as vision spots, blurred vision or periodic fluctuation of graduation,
gradual loss of visual acuity , shadows, difficulty to see equally clearly with the lack of clarity, etc.
We must also take into account that there are factors such as a sedentary lifestyle, obesity or smoking that can negatively influence this disease.
There are different types of treatments, depending on the degree of the disease and each patient, they can be laser photocoagulation in the retina, intravitreal injection of drugs or vitrectomy for more severe cases.
Despite the existence of such treatments, we must think that the best solution is prevention.