Why do diabetics have poor eyesight?
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Diabetes mellitus (DM) is one of a very few diseases that affects every organ and every organ system. Some individuals with diabetes mellitus who have poorly controlled blood glucose levels will have a decrease in visual acuity over time. This is not true of all people with DM. If blood glucose levels can be controlled and remain within an acceptable range, eyesight is not adversely affected.
One of the underlying pathophysiologic problems with DM is that the glucose in the circulatory system does not enter into cells but rather stays in the blood stream. Over time if this remains the case, the cells of the body (including nerve cells) are damaged from the lack of needed glucose. Some people will suffer from decreased vision because the nerves that innervate the eyes become damaged.
Diabetes is the name used for two disease with different causes but similar symptoms and effects. These two diabetes are diabetes mellitus and diabetes insipidus. In the first kind, which is more common, the body is unable to use sugar normally. In diabetes insipidus the pituitary or the hypothalamus does not function. Both these have the immediate effect of increasing the level of sugar in the blood.
Diabetes, particularly diabetes mellitus can cause damage to the eye and even lead to blindness. It causes changes in the blood vessels of retina. These vessels may then burst and cause bleeding in the eye, clouding a person's vision. In other cases fluid leaks from capillaries in the retina causing the retina to thicken. This may also cause retina to detach from the eye. All these conditions can also lead to blindness.
Diabetes Mellitus is the name of a metabolic disorder which is a consequence of the ductless glands 'the islets of langerhans' in a persons pancreas not producing sufficient amount of insulin which is vital to control the level of sugar in the blood.
There are two types of diabetes and both require different treatments. But the aim of the treatment in both cases is to ensure that the blood sugar level is always kept at an optimum level.
If the blood sugar level is not maintained at an optimum level, then all the vital organs of the body are affected.
Uncontrolled diabetes affects the peripheral nerves which shrink and wither away, once this happens in the eye the affected person's eyesight is affected. If this is not treated he/she may become completely blind.
Diabetics are at a higher risk for glaucoma. Blurred vision can temporarily occur when sugar levels are not under control as this can affect the shape of the lens and this in turn, affects vision. When sugar levels become regulated this can be corrected. Diabetics can get retinopathy which affects blood vessels in the retina, which is light sensitive tissue in the back of the eye. This can lead to blurry or double vision, floaters and other eye problems. Diabetics are at a higher risk for the development of cataracts. If diabetics make regular visits to the eye doctor, these problems can be avoided.
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