The #1 Cause of Blindness in Adults Isn’t What You’d Think

The #1 Cause of Blindness in Adults Isn’t What You’d Think

An unexpected disease can lead to several eye conditions that may result in the total loss of vision.

For most, the connection between diabetes and vision is far from obvious. But having high blood sugar can lead to a handful of eye disorders. Here are the two most common diabetic eye diseases:

Diabetic Retinopathy
Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness in adults. This disease occurs when the build up of blood sugar begins to harm the blood vessels in the retina. These damaged blood vessels swell, burst, and leak into the retina, resulting in symptoms like blurred vision, darkened vision, “floaters,” and flashes of light. To compensate for the weakened blood vessels, the eye will often create more on the surface of the retina, worsening overall vision.

Diabetic Macular Edema
Diabetic macular edema is a disease in which the macula (the part of the retina that helps us see details) becomes swollen. This condition is normally a complication of diabetic retinopathy, as the damaged blood vessels produce small sacks that leak fluid into the macula. Like retinopathy, macular edema can cause blurred vision and other impairments that worsen the longer the condition is left untreated.

Diabetes can also increase your chances of developing several common vision disorders. For example, diabetics are at a higher risk of having cataracts due to the way the excess blood sugar clouds the lenses of the eyes. Additionally, glaucoma is twice as likely to appear in people with diabetes.

Although uncommon, the complete loss of vision due to diabetes is possible, and the only way to prevent this is by keeping up with your annual eye exams to catch these issues as early as possible. Sterling Vision is home to highly experienced doctors who specialize in treating diabetic eye diseases. To schedule an appointment with us, call 541-262-0597 or schedule online.