Certain diabetes complications operate on the damage of the smaller blood vessels. It is worth to mention that body tissues receive oxygen and nutrients by this route.
Among the blood vessels affected by diabetes, there are those of the eye retina. The retina is an internal layer in the eye, essential for vision, which is why any damage provoked by diabetes, known as diabetic retinopathy, will affect the vision, or cause blindness in diabetic patients.
With diabetes, the blood vessels in the eye swell, and further obstruct the blood to the retina. In response, new blood vessels begin to grow, but these are fragile, and they could cause vision loss or blindness. There is a greater risk as diabetes has been present, if you have a bad glucose management, smoke, or have high blood pressure.
Patients with diabetes do not notice changes in the vision until damage is severe, and this is why regular eye exams are recommended every two years, and once a year if you have any eye damage already. In this, the doctor will assess the eyes’ structure, and both retinas.
Finally, the standard treatment for diabetes retinopathy is surgery, on the late stage of the disease. Ideally, it should be prevented, having a good diabetes control, so if you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol, as well as getting regular checkups to treat it on time.
Do not wait until you have symptoms because when they appear, there is already a severe damage. In case of not having regular eye tests, but you cannot see properly in low light, have double, cloudy, or blurry vision, see shadows or spots, lack peripheral vision, or even eye pain or recurrent headaches, do not doubt and consult your doctor.
American Diabetes Association. Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes 2016. Disponible desde: http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/diacare/suppl/2015/12/21/39.Supplement_1.DC2/2016-Standards-of-Care.pdf [Accesado el 09 Nov 2016]
NIH Medline Plus. Diabetes y Enfermedad Ocular. Disponible desde: https://medlineplus.gov/spanish/ency/article/001212.htm [Accesado el 09 Noviembre 2016]
National Eye institute. La retinopatía diabética: Lo que usted debe saber. Disponible desde: https://nei.nih.gov/health/espanol/retinopatia [Accesado el 09 Noviembre 2016]