Type 2 diabetes: Eye condition that may be the result of high blood sugar levels

If you’re diabetic, it’s vital you receive regular eye check-ups by an optometrist. Diabetes UK notes that diabetes is the “leading cause of preventable sight loss”.

The American Diabetes Association states that people with diabetes are “more likely to suffer from glaucoma”.

What’s glaucoma?

The NHS explained glaucoma occurs when the optic nerve – which connects the eye to the brain – becomes damaged.

The condition tends to develop slowly over time, with edges of the vision – known as peripheral vision – affected first.

Symptoms can include blurred vision, or seeing rainbow-coloured circles around bright lights.

On occasion, glaucoma can cause intense eye pain, tenderness and a headache.

Other signs of glaucoma include nausea and vomiting, as well as a red eye.

Most of the time, glaucoma isn’t picked up until a routine eye test is performed.

Early diagnosis and treatment can prevent your vision from deteriorating. If left untreated, glaucoma can eventually lead to blindness.

If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes you’re entitled to free NHS eye tests.

When visiting the opticians, an optometrist will perform the eye check-up. Should you have glaucoma, you may be referred to an ophthalmologist.

The ophthalmologist will discuss treatment options with you, which can range from eye drops, laser to surgery.

The American Diabetes Association explains that glaucoma occurs when pressure builds up in the eye.

This pressure pinches the blood vessels that carry blood to the retina and optic nerve.

As the retina and nerve is damaged due to this, the vision gradually becomes impaired.

Diabetes UK adds that there are lots of things you can do to keep blood sugars and blood pressure in target ranges.

The more you have your blood sugar levels under control, the less likely you’ll develop serious problems with your eyes.

Your healthcare team should be able to set blood sugar level targets with you.

It’s helpful to keep track of any blood sugar changes by checking your levels at home using a glucometer.

Diabetes UK Aldo notes that a doctor must also regularly check your HbA1c levels.

The HbA1c test needs to be performed at least once a year by your healthcare team.

So, if you’re due a check-up, make sure you arrange an appointment with your GP pronto.

The HbcA1c test checks your average blood sugar levels and helps the diabetes team, and you, to spot trends over time.

Elevated HbcA1 levels can lead to serious complications with your eyes, feet, heart and kidneys.

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