Diabetes can affect a person from head to toe, and the eyes are no exception. Although it’s true that those with diabetes are at a higher risk of potential blindness, most diabetics are more inclined to develop only minor eye conditions. Maintaining a schedule of preventative care eye exams is imperative, as many issues are much more easily treated if caught early.
Keep an eye out for these top conditions that may affect those with diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association:
- Glaucoma: Since diabetics are at a 40% higher risk of contracting glaucoma, it’s imperative to be screened regularly. The risk also increases with age and with the length of time a person has had diabetes. There are medications available to reduce pressure in the eye, and surgical options as well.
- Cataracts: As with glaucoma, the risk of cataracts is more common in those with diabetes as well – 60% higher. Diabetics also typically are diagnosed with cataracts at a younger age than those without diabetes, and the progression is generally faster, too. Mild cataracts can be managed through wearing sunglasses and glare-control lenses, while more developed cataracts may need to be removed.
- Retinopathy: This broad term covers all disorders of the retina caused by diabetes, including nonproliferative retinopathy (the most common form, in which pouches form in the back of the eye) and proliferative retinopathy (where blood vessels close off due to damage, resulting in new, weakened vessels leaking blood). A number of treatments are available for both conditions, and as with other eye conditions, the sooner they’re treated, the better the prognosis.
At North River Home Care in Massachusetts, it’s our mission to provide reliable, compassionate in-home care to improve the quality of life for those struggling with the challenges of diabetes and other conditions. Our fully trained caregivers can provide transportation to and from doctors’ appointments, pick up prescriptions, shop for and prepare meals (including special diets) and much more. To learn more, download our free brochure, or call us at 781-659-1366 to schedule a free in-home assessment.