Having type 1 or type 2 diabetes may put you at risk for a number of common diabetes-related eye problems. These include cataracts, glaucoma, macular oedema, and diabetic retinopathy (damage to blood vessels that lead to the retina), which may lead to the retina becoming detached^1^.
In most cases, diabetes affects the eyes because high blood sugar and hypertension can damage the tiny blood vessels that lead to your retina, causing them to be weakened or narrowed. This may lead to a number of complications, from blood getting into the vitreous (or gel-like area) of the eye, to the retina becoming detached^1^.
At first, you may not experience any symptoms – the type of damage that is most commonly associated with diabetes happens gradually, and may not necessarily be noticed. Eventually, you may experience symptoms that vary depending on the eye issue you have, including^1^:
As these symptoms are often gradual and difficult to detect, regular eye examinations are advisable.
There are a number of measures that you can take to prevent diabetes-associated eye problems. For example:
1. National Eye Institute. Facts About Diabetic Eye Disease. 2015 Available at: [https://nei.nih.gov/health/diabetic/retinopathy]
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