While most people are aware that diabetes affects the way that the body can produce insulin, not everyone is aware of the effect that diabetes can have on the eyes. Having excess glucose in the blood will eventually lead to damage to the body, including the kidneys, the heart and even the little blood vessels in the eyes. It is recommended that people who suffer from diabetes receive regular eye check-ups to identify any deterioration in their vision. Diabetic retinopathy is the foremost cause of vision loss for those with diabetes and a significant cause of blindness for adults of working age.
What is diabetic retinopathy?
Diabetic retinopathy is caused by problems in the blood vessels in the retina. The blood vessels could leak, swell, or simply close off. The risk of diabetic retinopathy will increase the longer the patient suffers from diabetes.
What other eye problems does diabetes cause?
While diabetic retinopathy can be a significant problem for diabetics, it is not the only medical problem which can afflict their eyes. Diabetics must also be alert to the possibility of diabetic macular edema, glaucoma, and even cataracts. Should you need surgery to remove cataracts caused by diabetes, your surgeon will need to be aware of other eye conditions you may have to ensure that they can offer appropriate treatment. They will need to think about not only intraoperative complications but also increased risk factors both before and after surgery.
Finding the right cataract surgeon
If you suffer from diabetes and need surgery because of a cataract, then it is vital that you find a surgeon who fully understands your condition and the risks that surgery may pose for you. Before committing yourself to the surgeon, you should take some time to talk with them and ensure that they are aware of your diabetic retinopathy or other condition. Whatever concerns you may have, you should talk to the surgeon and ask them what steps they will take to care for you at each stage of the operation. You should also find out what post-operative check-ups will be needed to ensure that your eye is healing properly.
Your GP may be able to suggest a cataract surgeon to whom they refer patients regularly. If you would prefer to find your surgeon, then make sure you ask them the right questions before you commit yourself to their care.
To learn more about diabetic retinopathy or other eye conditions related to diabetes, contact a doctor.