Understanding Diabetic Eye Problems: Identifying Early Symptoms

A recent ICMR study revealed that about 101 million people in India are diabetic.

Diabetes is a metabolic condition wherein glucose levels are higher than the healthy range. Though glucose is the primary energy source, its high levels can damage blood vessels and nerves throughout the body, including the eyes. Thus, high blood glucose levels for extended period impacts vision.  

In this blog, we will explore the common diabetic eye problems and understand the early symptoms diabetic individuals should watch out for.

Eye diseases caused by diabetes

Diabetes may lead to eye diseases, which can threaten vision. Maintaining blood glucose levels through appropriate medications and regular checkups can prevent the disease and avoid possible irreversible vision loss. Visit the best eye clinic in Bangalore for a comprehensive eye examination regularly to ensure your eyes are free from any abnormalities due to diabetes.  

The following are the most common eye diseases seen in diabetic individuals.

Diabetic retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy stands as a prevalent and severe diabetic eye condition. It results from extended periods of elevated blood glucose levels, which lead to the blockage of blood vessels within the retina and trigger the abnormal development of new vessels. These vessels rupture as the disease progresses, allowing blood into the eye’s interior, making the fluid opaque and resulting in vision loss.

Diabetic macula edema

Diabetic macula oedema is a condition that occurs when blood vessels in the retina leak fluid into the macula, which is a part of the retina needed for sharp, central vision. It commonly develops in people who already have the signs of diabetic retinopathy.

Cataract 

Cataract is prevalent in aged persons and is rare in younger population. However, diabetes can advance the onset and accelerates the progression of cataract, regardless of age. High blood sugar levels induce physiological and structural changes in the eye that result in the clouding of the normally clear lens in the eye, resulting in hazy vision or blindness.

Cataracts commonly cause glare, halos, or starbursts in bright sunlight or from headlights at night. Reduced contrast vision, difficulty distinguishing dark colours, and an altered refractive error are typical symptoms.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a group of diseases which causes damage to the optic nerve and is a leading cause of irreversible blindness. Diabetes increases the risk of glaucoma as high sugar levels can damage the retina’s blood vessels and result in the creation of abnormal new ones. When new blood vessels grow on the iris (the coloured part of the eye), they can block fluid drainage from the eyes and cause an increase in pressure, which leads to glaucoma.

Early signs of diabetic eye problems you should not ignore

Early-stage diabetic eye symptoms are crucial in prompting comprehensive eye examination and treatment to address the complications at early stages and prevent vision loss or blindness.

Burred or wavy vision 

One of the common early signs of diabetic eye problems is blurred vision. High blood glucose levels cause swelling of the lens of the eyes, rendering diabetic persons difficult to see fine objects in detail.

Blurred vision may last over a short period and self-resolve as the blood sugar returns to normal level. However, diabetes causes significant damage to the eyes. Blurred vision may persist for a longer period, indicating the onset of severe complications, such as diabetic retinopathy.   

Frequent changes in vision 

Diabetic individuals may also experience day-to-day or hour-to-hour changes in the clarity of vision. For a person diagnosed with chronic diabetes, it may indicate a diabetic eye problem and needs the medical attention of an ophthalmologist. Visit a diabetic eye clinic and undergo a detailed eye examination to rule out the possibilities.

Fluctuations in colour and light perception 

Diabetic persons may also observe changes in their colour vision and light perception. It is due to the retinal damage that disrupts the ability of the eyes to process colour and light.

Floating spots or strings in the visual field

Prolonged high glucose levels within the blood vessels supplying the retina can result in bleeding within the eye. It can lead to moving dark spots or strands in your visual field as the blood floats around within the eye and is suspended within the macular fluid.

Conclusion

The impact of prolonged elevated blood glucose levels on the eyes is profound. It can lead to several diabetic eye problems. The conditions have the potential to cause irreversible vision loss. It is crucial for diabetic individuals to be watchful about abnormal changes in their vision and undergo comprehensive eye examinations from an ophthalmologist.

Recognizing early signs and seeking timely diagnosis and intervention is crucial to prevent diabetic eye diseases. Visit the best eye doctor in Bangalore for quality assistance and treatment. Zamindar Microsurgical Eye Centre is committed to providing the best eye care services for various eye conditions and vision-related issues. Follow us on TwitterFacebookInstagramLinkedIn and Youtube for more educational posts.