Eye problems a sign of diabetes

BY JANICE GIBBS
Damage to the diabetic’s eye starts slowly and without symptoms.
Diabetics have an issue with not producing enough insulin to regulate their blood sugar. The elevated blood sugar will cause damage to blood vessels in the body, with capillaries being the first to be injured, Scott & White optometrist William White said.

 White recently spoke to the Diabetes Support Group at Scott & White about reducing risk of diabetic eye disease.
The blood vessels carry the blood, which includes oxygen, to the tissue, White said. If the vessel is damaged and oxygen doesn’t reach the tissue it can’t survive.
Organs damaged early on as a result of blood vessel damage are the eyes, kidneys, heart and the extremities.
“Most doctors will tell diabetics to have their eyes and feet checked once a year,” White said.
Early in the disease process there might be swelling of the eye’s lens, which can change vision, he said. Some patients say they know their blood sugar is high when their vision gets blurry.
As the disease goes on microaneurysms, balloon-like swellings, will show up in the retina’s blood vessels. As it progresses the swellings might break open and there’s bleeding.
“The retina is like the film in a camera; it absorbs the light and allows you to see,” he said.
If the blood flow to the retina is restricted the body tries to fix it by making new blood vessels, which usually leak and block the light.
“If it’s a large leak you can’t see through the blood,” White said.
Diabetic retinopathy is the most common type of diabetic eye trouble and is caused by damage to blood vessels in the retina.
“There’s no need for surgery; your body does a wonderful job of absorbing the blood,” he said. “If I see that I’m not overly concerned, we just have to control your blood sugar.”……
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Source: TD News
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