3 Vision Impairments That Are Linked to Diabetes
They say our eyes are the windows to the world, but we may take them for granted until our vision becomes compromised. Since diabetes can affect almost every part of the body, literally from head to toe, diabetics are at a greater risk for both minor vision impairments as well as blindness.
If you or your senior loved one has been diagnosed with diabetes, be especially mindful of these top eye conditions that can particularly affect diabetics, according to the American Diabetes Association:
- Glaucoma: Since those with diabetes are as much as 40% more likely to contract glaucoma, it’s crucial that they are screened for the disease regularly. The risk also is increased in conjunction with age and the length of time the individual has had diabetes. Early detection is key, as there are medications available that can reduce pressure in the eye, and surgery can sometimes be an option as well.
- Cataracts: The risk of cataracts, as in glaucoma, is more prevalent in diabetics – a full 60% higher. Those with diabetes also are often diagnosed with cataracts at a younger age than non-diabetics, and the progression is typically faster as well. Mild cataracts can sometimes be managed by wearing sunglasses and lenses that control glare, while more developed cataracts usually need to be removed.
- Retinopathy: This is a broad term that covers all retina disorders caused by diabetes, including the most common form, non-proliferative retinopathy (in which pouches form in the back of the eye) and proliferative retinopathy (in which the blood vessels become closed off as a result of damage, leading to new, weakened vessels leaking blood). Multiple treatments are available for both of these conditions, and as with other eye conditions, the quicker they’re treated, the better the person’s prognosis will be.
For diabetics, maintaining a schedule of preventative care eye exams is critical, since many vision concerns are much more easily treated when detected early. At Home & Hearth Caregivers of Illinois, we realize how overwhelming diabetes care can be. Our professional caregivers are able to assist through providing meal planning and preparation assistance to help seniors stick to diabetic diets, help with medication reminders, and more. If you’d like to learn more about our in-home care services for seniors with diabetes, or any other condition of aging, contact us at 800-349-0663.