Blindness can creep slowly

Blindness can creep slowly

Losing your eyesight for ever is a nightmare for everyone. But for diabetic patients, it’s a constant valid fear. Yes! You read right. Diabetes can cause blindness slowly. The damage to the retina of the eye caused by diabetes — called diabetic retinopathy — is the leading cause of vision loss and blindness nowadays.

Diabetes is a metabolic disease that affects the body’s ability to metabolize blood sugar. It is a chronic condition. The body produces insulin in the pancreas that helps to deliver the sugar molecules to the cell. In normal circumstances, these molecules get picked up by the cells and are used up as the primary currency of energy. However, in certain conditions, either the body doesn’t produce insulin, or it may not create it in sufficient quantities, or the body may become resistant to the insulin present. This leads to high levels of glucose levels in the blood known as Hyperglycemia. Hyperglycemia affects the body negatively in various ways, mostly to kidney and eyes.

There are mostly three eye problems that develops due to Diabetes.

1. Diabetic Retinopathy:

Diabetic retinopathy is a condition in which high blood sugar causes retinal blood vessels to swell and leak blood. It is a prime reason for irreversible blindness. The duration of the disease determines the risk of developing retinopathy. Longer the duration of disease,  higher is the risk of vision damage.

There are no symptoms during the initial stage but when the damage is excessive, the following symptoms can develop.

  • Blurry vision
  • Colour defects in vision
  • Dark spots in vision
  • Complete vision loss
  • Dark strings floating in the vision

2. Cataract:

Cataract affects the eye lens. Those with diabetes are two to five times more vulnerable to cataracts than their peers without diabetes.

Symptoms for this disease are:

  • Blurry vision
  • Light sensitivity
  • Halos around lights
  • Double vision, especially in one eye
  • A vision that remains unaffected by wearing spectacles

3. Glaucoma:

The eyes are nourished by a fluid which keeps them moist and active. Sometimes, this fluid doesn’t get drain and leads to a pressure buildup in the eye. This causes damage to the optic nerves leading to vision changes and sometimes, even blindness. This condition is known as Glaucoma.

Symptoms include:

  • Loss of peripheral vision
  • Red eyes
  • Eye pain
  • Nausea
  • Halos around lights


1. The best way to prevent vision loss and diabetes and related eye damage is by keeping the blood glucose levels on an even keel. Control your diabetes by eating healthy, exercising and taking medicines regularly.

2. Regular visits to the ophthalmologist are a must for those who have diabetes as there are usually no symptoms of damage initially.

3. Control the blood pressure and cholesterol to maintain the health of eye and other organs of the body.
Treatment for most eye problems is done through eye drops, laser surgeries, medication, and surgical procedures.

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