LEARN MORE ABOUT HOW DIABETES AFFECTS YOUR EYE HEALTH

Everyone experiences diabetes in their own way. Some may never have problems with their eyes, while others seem plagued by them. Here’s an overview of how diabetes can damage your vision.

DIABETIC RETINOPATHY

CAUSES – Diabetic retinopathy, a disease exclusively reserved for those with diabetes, is caused by chronically high blood sugar. The sustained levels of high blood sugar damage blood vessels in the retina, eventually leading to vision loss as the damaged blood vessels leak fluid into the eye and cause irreparable retinal damage.

SYMPTOMS – Retinopathy, like most eye diseases, has little in the way of initial symptoms. It may develop unnoticed for months before it starts to present symptoms indicating that something is wrong. Even then, the symptoms are similar to other diseases (some of which are less severe) and often wrongly “self diagnosed”. These include:

  • Floating spots/specks in your vision (that may look similar to floaters)

  • Flashes of light or appearance of light “specks” dancing in your vision

  • Difficulty seeing colours properly

  • Blurry or hazy vision


DIABETIC MACULAR EDEMA (DME)

CAUSES – Exclusive to those already living with diabetic retinopathy, DME is the result of fluid from leaking blood vessels that permeates the macula (the part of the retina responsible for sharp vision), causing the retina to swell and impair vision.

SYMPTOMS – Symptoms from DME are variable. Some people will experience symptoms, many don’t. They include a distortion of what you see (images appear blurry or wavy, similar to how heat waves distort vision on a hot day), as well as desaturated colours that appear to lack depth or fidelity.


CATARACTS & GLAUCOMA

Cataracts and glaucoma are a real concern for those with diabetes. Learn more about glaucoma and cataracts.