If you are diabetic, then you should be visiting an optometrist regularly. Continue reading to learn why.
You have a higher risk of developing cataracts
If you have diabetes, then you have a much higher chance of developing cataracts at some point in your life than people who do not suffer from this condition. A cataract is an eye condition which can cause proteins to accumulate on the lens of the eye. This buildup of protein makes the lens cloudy. This can be problematic, as the lens is designed to help the light which enters the eye to reach the retina so that the image that a person is looking at can be transmitted to, and then interpreted by the brain.
If your lens clouds over, you may develop sight problems that could affect your quality of life and your ability to drive or do your job. A cataract could, for example, cause your vision to become blurred or make it hard for you to tolerate bright light.
This is why, if you are diabetic, you should go to your optometrist regularly. If whilst examining your eyes, they notice the early symptoms of this eye condition, they can then refer you to an ophthalmologist who specialises in cataract treatment.
You can then undergo surgery to replace the damaged lens with a synthetic one, and thus avoid the vision problems that the cataract would have caused you, had you not gone for your eye exam. The surgery itself is relatively simple and does not usually result in serious complications or long-term side-effects.
You could develop diabetic macular oedema
If you have had diabetes for many years or if you frequently struggle to maintain healthy blood sugar levels, then you may also be at risk of another eye condition, known as diabetic macular oedema. As the name itself suggests, this is a condition which affects diabetics. If you develop it, the macula of your eye (which helps you to see anything located in the centre of your field of vision) may become filled up with fluid.
This fluid can affect the functionality of the macula and, as the condition progresses, may lead to you experiencing blurred central vision.
However, if you arrange for an optometrist to check your eyes regularly, they will be able to detect this eye condition and refer you for treatment before your central vision deteriorates. This treatment may involve laser therapy or the insertion of liquid steroid medications into the affected eye.