November is Diabetic Eye Disease Month

In the past I’ve written about the all-pervading effects of diabetes and also its link to Alzheimer’s disease. It is a scary disease! The good news is that it is a lifestyle disease. One that is avoidable through good nutrition, exercise and thoughtful living — not a slow agonizing death sentence just because it runs in your family. You can take control and avid the nasty consequences of type II diabetes by living in a conscious and healthful way.
Diabetic eye conditions include diabetic retinopathy, diabetic macular degeneration, cataracts and glaucoma. All forms of diabetic eye disease have the potential to cause severe vision loss and blindness. Diabetic retinopathy involves changes to the blood vessels in the retina (the light sensitive tissue) that lines the back of the eyeball. These changes cause the blood vessels in the back of the eyeball to leak fluid or bleed into the eyeball causing distorted vision.

 Diabetic retinopathy is the most common cause of vision loss among people with diabetes and is a leading cause of blindness among working-age adults. Diabetic macular edema is a consequence of diabetic retinopathy. It causes swelling of the area of the retina called the macula. Cataracts are a clouding of the lens of the eye.

Adults with type II diabetes are two to five times more likely to develop cataracts than those of us who don’t have diabetes. Cataracts also tend to develop earlier in those who have diabetes than those who don’t. Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that damage the eye’s optic nerve — the large bundle of nerves that lead from the eye to the brain. Some types of glaucoma are associated with elevated pressure within the eye. Adults with diabetes run twice the risk of developing glaucoma than those who do not have the disease.
Why does diabetes harm the eyes so much? In the case of diabetic retinopathy, the chronically high blood sugar damages the tiny blood vessels in the retina causing them to hemorrhage and bleed or leak fluid. In the more advanced stages of diabetic retinopathy, new abnormal blood vessels increase on the surface of the retina which leads to scarring and functional cell loss in the retina…….
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Source: The Garden Island