Diabetic Eye Disease (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
What causes diabetic eye disease?
Over many years, high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) and other abnormalities in metabolism found in people with diabetes may damage the blood vessels in the body. This damage to the blood vessels leads to poor circulation of the blood to various parts of the body. Since the function of the blood is to carry oxygen and other nutrients, this poor circulation causes decreased oxygen delivery to tissues in different parts of the body and subsequent damage to those tissues. Some of the most sensitive tissues to decreased blood flow and oxygen delivery include the brain, heart, kidneys, and the eyes. Lack of adequate oxygen delivery to these areas causes strokes, heart attacks, kidney failure, and vision loss.
The primary part of the eye affected by diabetes is the retina.
The retina can be thought of as the film in a camera. If the film in a camera is faulty, the resulting picture will be blurry. In a similar manner, if the retina of the eye is swollen, wrinkled, or otherwise structurally damaged, the vision in that eye will be blurry. Depending on the type, location, and extent of damage in the retina, the change in vision will range from minimal to severe and be temporary or permanent.
Diabetic eye disease can cause a wide range of problems that affect the eyes, in particular the retina, the lens, and the trabecular meshwork.
Other signs and symptoms of poor blood circulation problems
The feet and lower legs can also suffer from poor blood circulation and oxygen delivery, resulting in symptoms of:
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/26/2016
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