Millions of Canadians suffer from diabetes, which refers to a set of metabolic diseases that result in high glucose levels because of the body’s inability to properly produce or use insulin. In addition to affecting the body’s blood sugar levels, diabetes can affect the eye and cause or worsen vision problems.
Diabetes can increase your risk of developing early-onset conditions like cataracts, or the clouding of the lens of your eye that typically remains clear, or glaucoma, a progressive condition affecting the eye’s optic nerve. Diabetes can also alter existing eye conditions including presbyopia, myopia and hyperopia. Additional eye and vision problems commonly linked to diabetes include blurred vision, double vision and eye fatigue, while some diabetes sufferers also experience flashes and floaters or a reduction in their peripheral vision.
Many symptoms of diabetic eye disease can be uncovered by your eye doctor during a comprehensive eye exam. Your doctor will take digital images of your eye to determine whether there is any indication you’re experiencing diabetes-related eye problems such as diabetes retinopathy, and if so, help determine a course of treatment. Common treatment methods for diabetic eye disease include laser eye therapy or intraocular injections. To reduce your risk of diabetes in general, do your best to minimize associated risk factors including smoking and obesity.