MILLIONS of people in the UK suffer with diabetes and the most common symptoms are thirst, tiredness, going to the loo more often and weight loss.
But one expert has now claimed that you can also spot signs of the illness in the eyes.
GettyOne expert has revealed the signs of diabetes that you need to look out for in your eyes[/caption]
High blood sugar is a common issue for diabetics as the amount of sugar in the blood is controlled by insulin which is produced by the pancreas.
If you are diabetic, you don’t have enough insulin to move glucose and the insulin produced does not work properly.
Dr. Shane Kannarr, leading medical reviewer for eyesight experts All About Vision said high blood sugar can actually affect someone’s eyes.
He explained: “High blood sugar can change the blood vessels in our retina or cause swelling in the tissues of our eyes which help us see, causing blurred vision.
“High blood sugar can also change the shape of our lens, and if left untreated, it can lead to problems like cataracts, glaucoma and retinopathy.”
Dr Kannarr explained that there are four main symptoms that could present in the eyes if you have diabetes.
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He said that blurred or distorted vision, dark spots in your vision (floaters), flashes of light and “holes” in your vision are all signs.
Dr Kannarr said that diabetes’ destruction to eyes stems from the body failing to make or effectively use insulin.
“Insulin, and the pancreas that pumps it out, processes and ships blood glucose from your food to your body’s cells. When it operates smoothly, blood sugar serves as your main energy source.
“But, if you have high blood sugar, glucose stays in your bloodstream rather than reaching your cells. T
“This process can lead to vision loss and, ultimately, blindness.”
He added that diabetes is a disease that affects small blood vessels and that excess blood sugar damages the body’s smallest blood vessels and impairs blood flow.
This, he said, starves the capillaries of the tissues feed and leads to leaking blood vessels, swelling and oxygen deprivation.
“Fluid leaks can also change the shape and size of the eye’s lens, causing cataracts.
How can a person lower their blood sugar?
One of the main issues with diabetes is high blood sugar.
Dr Kannarr said here are several ways you can lower your blood sugar to avoid your eyesight deteriorating.
He explained that getting enough sleep has a range of health benefits, including helping to maintain your blood sugar levels.
“Sleep deprivation decreases the release of growth hormones and increases cortisol levels.
“Both of which play a significant role in blood sugar management.
“Make sure you’re getting a night of good quality sleep each night and aim for at least seven or eight hours per night.”
Another tip, Dr Kannarr said, is to drink plenty of water to help keep your blood sugar levels low.
He explained: “Staying hydrated will help your kidneys flush out the excess sugar through urine and help reduce your risk of diabetes.”
Surprisingly stress can affect your blood sugar levels, Dr Kannarr said.
“Managing your stress through exercise or relaxation methods like yoga as well as mindfulness can help you regulate blood sugar levels”, he added.
“These leaks also can harm the retina, the back of the eye, where visual images are formed.
“Diabetes can produce bleeding and excess fluid in the retina, which can have a serious effect on our vision”, he added.
The earlier you’re diagnosed with diabetic eye disease, the better your visual outcome will be, Dr Kannarr said.
He added that the goal is to find changes before damage is irreversible.
“Blurry vision is the first, and main, warning sign and can be treated. Sadly most diabetic eye disease has no symptoms until it is advanced to a significant level.
“That is why annual comprehensive eye exams are so important. Once caught, it can take as long as three months for your vision to fully get back to normal, if it does.
“Without treatment, it can lead to vision loss. In fact, diabetes is the primary cause of blindness in adults between the ages of 20 to 74”, he said.
EARLY WARNING SIGNS
Dr Kannarr said that there are other early warning signs of diabetes that people need to be aware of.
“You may notice headaches, eye aches or pains, watery eyes, blurred vision, halos around lights and vision loss.
“If you find yourself suffering with one or more of these warning signs it’s best to check with your eye care professional to detect any problems early and get started on treatment.”
He said that most conditions have no symptoms in the earliest stages.
“If treatment occurs during the early stages visual outcomes are the most positive, and treatment can be burdensome on the patient.
“The majority of patients with diabetes have no visual symptoms. They may experience blurred or wavy vision or patches of missing sight without actually realising that these are serious”, he added.
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