Blindness: The Not So Known Complication of Diabetes

Diabetes presents many potential complications to eye health.

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Diabetes and Blindness?

I think we can all agree that no one walks around wishing that they had diabetes. We all know about the tightly managed lifestyles of diabetics, the finger pricking, and the dire need for insulin to ensure that blood glucose levels stay in check, but how many of us really understand the world of complications that come with the diagnosis? For instance, did you know that blindness is a potential complication of diabetes? Would we work harder pushing diabetes prevention initiatives if we were truly aware of the risks? For many, these realizations are only uncovered after the arrival of a diagnosis.

Vision Health

The International Diabetes Federation states that about one-third of those suffering from diabetes will likely develop problems with their eye health. The longer you have diabetes, the higher your risks for vision impairment. Experts estimate that as many as 70 million people could have sight-threatening diabetic retinopathy by the year 2040. Early diagnosis and treatments are essential to helping diabetics preserve their vision health.

The Risks

Glaucoma, cataracts, and diabetic retinopathy risks are all significantly increased by the presence of diabetes. What are these conditions? Glaucoma is essentially a drainage problem within the eye. The eye produces natural cleansing fluid that drains through pathways, making room for the production of new fluid. However, these drainage pathways may become blocked, causing pressure to build up within the eye resulting in damage to the optic nerve. A cataract is a vision impairment that causes the lens of the eye to become cloudy, often making sight obstructed, blurry, or even yellow-looking. Diabetic retinopathy refers to the many complications that can arise within the retina of the eye due to diabetes. These include blood vessel complications that can eventually lead to complete loss of sight if left untreated.

Time for a Trip to the Eye Doctor?

When is the last time you went to the eye doctor? Unless you notice a change in your vision, you may believe it’s okay to put off a doctor’s visit. Think again. Regular examinations could alert you to potential health and eye health concerns. If you are suffering from diabetes, or even temporary gestational diabetes, meeting with your eye doctor is imperative. An eye doctor can help you keep your vision intact and can prevent small vision problems from turning into bigger, sight-threatening vision conditions.

Diabetes Prevention

There may still be time for you to prevent the onset of diabetes and avoid many health complications, like vision impairment, that may come with it. The foods we eat and the activities we engage in can play a huge role in managing the risk of developing diabetes. Talk to your doctor to assess your risks and create a plan to prepare you for a life of good health. If you have already been diagnosed with diabetes, make sure you are talking to your doctor regularly about all the ways you can maintain your health. Prevention and maintenance are essential for not just living, but living well.

Knowledge is power, but only if you use it.


We hope that this information on diabetes and eye health is useful to you.

Empower Brokerage is dedicated to helping you make informed decisions about your health and finances. Whether it’s through webinar training, one-on-one calls, seminars, or marketing plans, we want you to be successful!

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