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Four Ways Diabetes Affects Your Eyes

Having a regular eye examination when you have diabetes is vital. A high blood sugar count can lead to eye-related problems and even blindness. We have seen cases where patients as young as 20 years old lose their vision.

We’ve put together some ways in which diabetes can affect your eyes and things to watch out for.

Blurry vision

We often blame blurry vision on ageing but this can be caused by diabetes. If you are unable to see objects with clarity, lack sharpness in vision and the out-of-focus parts of a photograph we recommend booking an eye examination. If left untreated the high blood sugar levels can damage small blood vessels in the retina over time, which can lead to sight loss.

Glaucoma

People with diabetes are likely to have glaucoma. This is when pressure builds up in your eyes because fluid can’t drain like it should. Glaucoma is called the ‘silent thief of the night’ because you can’t feel anything until it is too late. You may notice headaches, blurry vision, watery eyes, halos around the eyes or even loss of peripheral vision but it may have progressed by then. If detected early Glaucoma can be treated with drops or laser surgery.

Cataracts

This is when the lens, a small transparent disc inside your eye, develops cloudy patches. These are common as people get older but people with diabetes tend to get them earlier and they tend to get worse quicker. Cataract surgery is common and simple to perform. A surgeon will remove the cloudy lens and replace it with a new, clear lens.

Diabetic Retinopathy

High blood glucose levels in people with diabetes causes the blood vessels in the retina to ‘leak’ which causes haemorrhaging of blood and fluids. If undiagnosed and untreated, advanced Diabetic Retinopathy has the potential to cause severe vision loss. The leaky blood vessels can produce fluid which can cause swelling (oedema) in the central part of the retina (macula).

The Need for Regular Eye Examinations

A full yearly eye examination can help find problems early, which means they’re easier to treat. It could save your vision. When our patients come in for an eye examination we always take a full medical history that includes finding out if they have diabetes. Many are taken aback and don’t realise how diabetes affects the eyes.

If you have diabetes you should ensure you have an eye examination at least once a year. 

Sunglasses

Top Reasons Why You Should Wear Sunglasses in the Winter

When you think of preparing for winter we think of hats, scarves, gloves and a big wooly jumper. But very few people realise that sunglasses are as important in the winter as they are in the summer.

We recommend you keep your sunglasses out in the winter just as much as in the winter and here’s why: 

The Sun’s Rays

The suns rays are just as strong in the winter as they are in the summer, we just don’t feel the heat as much. Ultra Violet (UV) are just as present in the winter months and can damage your cornea, eye lens and other parts of your eyes. UV rays from sun exposure can be a great contributing factor the development of cataracts and macular degeneration. It’s worth protecting yourself.

The Sun Sits Lower

The sun sits lower during the winter months which leads to more direct exposure to harmful UV radiation. Your sunglasses can help you see more clearly on those sunny days in winter give you better vision when driving.

Protects You From Dry Eyes

Cold winds and snow are more harmful to your eyes than you might think. Wind and snow causes the moisture in your eyes to dry up causing your eyes to suffer from dry eyes. This common condition causes irritation, red, sore and gritty eyes which can be painful. You’re much less likely to suffer from dry eyes by wearing a good pair of sunglasses for protection making your eyes feel more comfortable. 

Our Top Winter Protection Tips:

There are many options for sunglasses, you can have a separate pair of sunglasses with your prescription, you can have a Transition tint put into your current glasses that helps your glasses go dark when you’re outside, you can even have a polarised lens to help reduce the glare.