What Every Diabetic Needs To Know About Autoimmune Disease and Their Vision
People who have been diagnosed with diabetes need to be especially diligent when it comes to the care of their eyes. Because diabetics are at greater risk of developing a number of other diseases that can affect their vision, our optometrist here at University Vision Centre in El Paso, stresses the importance of educating diabetics about the risks they face. Here in our facility, our optometry team treats conditions like diabetic retinopathy and helps our patient identify other conditions associated with diabetes that can affect their vision.
Regular Eye Care Is the First Line of Defense
The importance of regular visits with an optometrist can’t be stressed enough to anyone who has been diagnosed as a diabetic. Annual comprehensive eye exams should be an essential part of every diabetic person’s eye care regimen. Because diabetic eyes can undergo many changes during a year due to blood sugar levels that fluctuate, it is extremely important for people with diabetes to see an eye doctor so that the changes in their eyes can be evaluated and noted.
Diabetics Need To Be Aware
Diabetics who have also been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease have to be especially diligent in regard to making sure they see an eye doctor for yearly comprehensive exams. There is a direct link between some well-known autoimmune disorders and vision impairment. These conditions are further exasperated when a person has diabetes. People with psoriasis need to be aware that their condition can cause eye pain and redness because it inflames the conjunctiva.
Rheumatoid arthritis not only causes inflammation of the eyes, as the disease process thins the cornea, and causes dry eye which, if not addressed can damage the lens of the eye. Diseases relating to hyperthyroidism cause the tissues around the eyes to build up and apply pressure to the eyes. People with disorders related to hypothyroidism may develop visual challenges due to a build of pressure on the inside of the eye caused by an inability of the eyes to circulate fluids properly. One of the most common thyroid diseases that are exacerbated by diabetes is Grave’s Disease. This condition is also known as “Thyroid Eye Disease”.
Diabetic Retinopathy: a True Enemy of Sight
Diabetics must always be mindful of the threat of developing diabetic retinopathy, as it is an eye disease that has no identifiable symptoms when it is in its early stages. By the time a person realizes that their vision is impaired, the disease is already quite advanced. Some symptoms of diabetic retinopathy include but are not limited to: a distortion of color vision, floaters, dark areas in the view of vision, fluctuating vision, blurry vision and a loss of vision. An eye surgery like a laser treatment is used to prevent the progression of vision loss caused by diabetic retinopathy; however, these types of interventions do not improve vision.