Dr. Brad Wemhoener
Diabetes and Your Eyes
Diabetes can cause injury to the eyes in different, but very damaging ways.
The retina, which is the nerve lining inside the eye, is supported by a network of very small blood vessels called capillaries that may leak if blood sugar levels get too high. This bleeding (hemorrhage) damages the nerves by physically disrupting them and also by delivering less oxygen to the cells.
Most cases of diabetic retinopathy are mild and can only be detected by routine examination inside the eyes before they become more catastrophic problems.
Diabetes also may cause a change in prescription lens power by disrupting the lens inside the eye. The lens is a storage location for excess “sugar” and will often change density with increased blood sugar. Long term high blood sugar also can cause toxic cataracts in the lens inside the eye.
Keeping blood sugar levels normal is essential to good health and to good visual performance and eye protection. Annual eye exams are the best defense in monitoring your eye health.
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