Diabetes

Cataract Toronto Eye Clinic

Diabetes is a disease which prevents the body from making or using insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas. As a result, the metabolism of fats, proteins and sugars is not balanced, causing problems for various systems of the body.

How can diabetes affect vision?

Diabetics are more likely to develop cataracts and glaucoma in addition to other ocular problems such as fluctuations in vision and colour vision disturbances. However, the single most damaging effect of diabetes is the damage it does to the delicate blood vessels inside the eye on the retina, the light receiving tissue of the eye, known as diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy is one of the leading causes of blindness in North America.

 

What are some of the symptoms of diabetes?

Excessive thirst, urination and hunger are the three most common symptoms. However, increased fatigue, double vision, blurred vision, itching of body parts, recurrent skin infections, foot or leg cramps, "pins and needles" sensations and loss of muscle reflexes are all signs of diabetes.

How can your eye doctor help?

Regular vision examinations are important as changes in vision can often be an early symptom of diabetes. For those with diabetes, vision examinations, (at intervals suggested by the eye doctor) are important so their vision can be closely monitored and appropriate action taken quickly to minimize possible damage to the eye. An eye doctor will make the necessary referral to an appropriate specialist should this be required. For those who have suffered a vision loss due to diabetes, an eye doctor can offer assistance by prescribing a variety of low vision aids.