WWV for Healthy, Happy Eyes
Did you know that individuals with diabetes are more likely to develop several serious eye diseases, including glaucoma?
This increased risk is due to the nature of diabetes, where high blood sugar levels can lead to a variety of problems and can be hard on the eyes.
Diabetic Retinopathy & Diabetic Macular Edema
- Diabetic retinopathy causes blurry vision, floating spots, and, if it’s allowed to progress, blindness. In its early stages, it rarely exhibits any symptoms, which means many patients only know something is wrong when they have an eye exam. High blood sugar levels can damage the retina, causing them to become blocked and eventually leak fluid or blood.
- Diabetic macular edema, or DME, occurs when diabetic retinopathy is allowed to progress. The damaged blood vessels begin to leak blood and other fluid, causing the macula to swell and slowly damage its light-sensitive cells. This can lead to irreversible vision loss or even blindness.
Other Diabetic Eye Issues
Unfortunately, diabetic retinopathy and diabetic macular edema are just a couple of conditions that can be caused or exacerbated by diabetes.
Individuals with diabetes are also more likely to experience:
- Glaucoma. Diabetes can lead to a variety of different types of glaucoma, including neovascular glaucoma and open-angle glaucoma.
- Cataracts. Cataracts occur when the lens of the eye becomes cloudy and opaque over time. Individuals with diabetes are not only more likely to experience cataracts but tend to develop them earlier than individuals who don’t have diabetes.
- Retinal tears or detachment. Because diabetic retinopathy can cause excessive scarring in the back of your eye, this tissue may pull the retina away from the supporting underlying tissue (retinal tearing), eventually causing it to detach completely.
To learn more about glaucoma, cataracts, and other common eye issues and diseases, please visit our Eye Disease Diagnosis & Management page.
Diabetes & Blindness
Unfortunately, diabetic eye disease is the leading cause of blindness in working-age adults across Canada, affecting approximately half a million Canadians. What’s worse is that many people don’t even realize they have it.
Most eye diseases do not present symptoms in their early stages, which means that even if you are managing your blood sugar well, you are still at risk. Even if you haven’t been formally diagnosed with diabetes, you could still develop these serious, vision-threatening conditions.
1 in 3 Canadians has either prediabetes or diabetes, increasing their chances of experiencing diabetes-related vision loss or blindness.