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Can Diabetic Retinopathy Cause Cataracts?

Woman with diabetic retinopathy playing bocce

Do you have diabetes? Have you noticed changes in your vision?

If you have type one or type two diabetes, then you have a higher chance of developing certain eye diseases. Managing your diabetes is key to having good vision and healthy eyes.

Keep reading to learn if diabetic retinopathy causes cataracts!

What is diabetic retinopathy?

If you have diabetes, you already have a high chance of developing diabetic retinopathy. This condition causes damage to the blood vessels in your retina.

The retina is the back part of your eye. There are two types of diabetic retinopathy. The most common type of diabetic retinopathy is non-proliferative retinopathy. Typically, it does not affect your vision.

If you do not get blood sugar levels under control, you may develop proliferative diabetic retinopathy. It is the proliferative form of diabetic retinopathy because new blood vessels grow on the retina. These blood vessels are delicate and can leak blood or fluid.

Also, diabetic retinopathy can cause damage to the macula. The macula is the part of the retina that lets you see details and have clear central vision.

Driving, reading, and seeing small details are challenging if the macula becomes damaged. Finally, you develop blurry vision.

What other conditions can diabetic retinopathy cause?

Diabetes is also connected to a higher chance of developing other eye conditions. These include cataracts and glaucoma.

If you have diabetes, you have a higher chance of developing cataracts at a younger age. Cataracts occur when the natural lens in your eye becomes cloudy.

Also, cataracts cause blurry vision. Early on, your cataracts are small. As they age, they get bigger.

Getting a new prescription or using sunglasses might help. When cataracts become more advanced, cataract surgery is the best solution.

During cataract surgery, your surgeon removes the lens and replaces it with an IOL.

What symptoms should I look for?

If you have diabetes, you should pay attention to your vision and any changes. You should look for blurry vision, halos around lights, and dark or floating spots in your vision.

You should also pay attention to any pain, irritation, difficulty seeing distances or lines or using peripheral vision. Finally, pay attention to any sudden changes in your vision.

If you notice any of these symptoms, call your doctor.

How do you prevent diabetic retinopathy?

The best thing you can do is manage your diabetes. This means lowing your sugar levels, managing your cholesterol, and blood pressure.

Additionally, this means eating a healthy diet and exercising. If you smoke, you should stop. Smoking makes you more likely to develop cataracts or other conditions.

Also, you should get frequent comprehensive eye exams. Your doctor will run a series of tests to see your eye and check for any eye diseases.

During these exams, they will also dilate your eyes. Frequent eye exams are the best way to detect eye disease early on and treat it. Early detection is key to saving your vision and preventing further damage.

Remember that diabetic retinopathy can cause cataracts. Taking care of your diabetes is important to your health and your eyes.

Do you think you have diabetic retinopathy? Schedule an appointment at Loden Vision Centers in Nashville, TN now!

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