You might have heard your diabetes doctor insist on the importance of diabetic people visiting health specialists. Diabetes makes your body vulnerable to different illnesses; that is why it is vital to follow your doctor's instructions and take precautions when it comes to your health.
One of the specialists you need to visit regularly is an ophthalmologist. He or she is an eye doctor who diagnoses and treats eye conditions, some of which require eye surgery.
What Does the Eye Specialist Look For?
There is a condition known as diabetic retinopathy that affects diabetic individuals. If the sugar in your blood vessels increases, it blocks the tiny blood vessels in your eyes. Two things will result if this happens:
Your blood vessels will block, which leads to nutrient deficiency that causes glaucoma
As blood flows in your blood vessels, it carries nutrients to organs in your body. The same thing happens in your eye; nutrients are carried to the retina to keep the cells active and healthy. The retina is where the image you are looking at is formed, which makes it possible for you to see. If the cells in the retina are deprived of nutrients because there is a blockage, they start dying; this means the retina won't function as it should, leading to blindness. The condition is known as glaucoma; it has no known cure, but it can be managed if caught early.
There will be an increase in pressure, leading to tearing or bursting of blood vessels, which leads to leakage
When tiny blood vessels in your eye become blocked, the flow of blood is stopped; this can lead to a build-up in pressure that can cause the blood vessels to tear or burst. If this happens, blood can leak into your eye, a condition known as DME (diabetic macular edema).
Sometimes, these tears can self-heal and form scars. These scars are not good for your retina because they pull it out of position, meaning images won't be formed, leading to blindness; this condition is referred to as retinal detachment. An ophthalmologist or cataract doctor needs to perform eye surgery to remove the scars, which helps the retina move back into position.
If the tears or bursts don't heal, your ophthalmologist needs to perform eye surgery to repair them.
Why Is Regular Eye Monitoring Important?
The conditions mentioned above show symptoms when it is too late. In the case of glaucoma, you can easily become permanently blind, but you might have a chance with DME or retinal detachment. That is why doctors insist that diabetic individuals should visit ophthalmologists or cataract doctors regularly.