Diabetes and Your Eyesight

What does diabetes mean to a common man? Sugar? But it’s not that simple. Diabetes is a multi-organ disease that affects almost all parts of the body simultaneously and eyes are most commonly affected. The side affects of diabetes can be prevented or delayed by being in touch with doctors.
Early diagnosis and treatment goes a long way in preserving good eyesight throughout life. Sometimes, diabetes may be first detected by manifestations in the eye like infections, boils, styes, recurrent redness, mild haziness of vision, double vision, frequent change of glasses for reading, difficulty in focusing near or distance, difficulty in driving especially at night, glare etc. as these signs also appear in established diabetic patients. In the presence of these suspicious symptoms or when in doubt it’s wise to have detailed eye testing from a specialist.
The main affect of diabetes on eyes is a matter of concern since it can cause permanent untreatable blindness - diabetic retinopathy. In simple terms it means diabetic affects or deposition on retina of the eye. In early stages diabetic retinopathy many not have any symptom to warn you of it happening inside the eye. This can only be detected by detailed, meticulous examination of the retina. This early detection is only possible by awareness and understanding of the disease, regular eye examination, minimum once a year, unless told otherwise by the eye surgeon, early referrals by diabetologists, endocrinologists, treating physicians and general doctors, all of whom need to get their diabetic patients cleared of diabetic retinopathy, off and on, as they do to rule out other complications of the disease.
In fact, in this early stage, when there may be just a thickening of the retina or presence of tiny blood clots due to diabetes, called CSME, even in the presence of normal 6/6 vision, laser treatment benefits the patient the most. If diabetic retinopathy is diagnosed at a later stage, it progresses to severe stage with abundance of hemorrhages, exudates and fluids and formation of new blood vessels, ultimately leading to complete blindness due to total bleeding inside the eye, which requires major eye surgery to retrieve a little bit of vision that could have been almost 100 percent in earlier stages.
Uncontrolled diabetes and diet, blood pressure, excess weight and cigarette smoking are not good associations. It is absolutely necessary to get your eyes tested when your treatment is shifted from oral drugs to insulin because the latter can cause start/worsening of diabetic changes in the retina, and that too at a fast speed. Diabetic retinopathy in pregnancy should be carefully monitored. Cataract surgery can worsen the retinal condition and get it checked immediately after the surgery. Diabetes can also cause fast maturation of cataract.


Hypoglycemia- Know diabetes to control it

Hypoglycemia is a common problem of the diabetics. The most common sign of hypoglycemia is scarce blood sugar in the body. Actually, hypoglycemia causes the blood sugar to pass out via urine. This is notwithstanding the fact that different persons suffering from this dysfunction may have different types of symptoms. Mentionably, hypoglycemia retraces its steps the moment the blood sugar level turns normal.
Sugar is a good slave but a very taxing master. Sugar is one of the main sources of energy or fuel for the body. Now, our body extracts sugar from the meals we have. Sugar can be carbohydrates which is a complex form of this stimulating source or just plain sugar. It is rather interesting to note that our body always keeps a buffer stock of sugar in the liver. This vital storehouse of sugar is called glycogen. This storage of sugar provides ready backup of sugar during exigencies when the body badly needs to look for sugar reinforcements. Mention may be made of some really trying times as too much of physical labor or during long periods of fasting. Further, the body releases the requisite additional quota of sugar via a complex biochemical procedure. This method is known as gluco-neo-genesis. Its simplest meaning is to produce new sugar. What is more, the process changes the glycogen into sugar.
So we see how important sugar is for our body. Hypoglycemia happens whenever the body fails to regulate or supply such emergency sugar reinforcements. These problems appear due to malfunctioning of our pancreas. During such times, the natural capacity of the body to produce insulin gets affected. Our body’s blood sugar level is automatically kept under control by insulin. This hormone secreted by the pancreas carries out the job by lowering the blood sugar level the moment it crosses the danger stage. In a normal human being, the pancreas is the sentinel ever on vigil against the attacks of excessive blood sugar. The method is akin to the radiator fan in your car which starts automatically whenever the engine gets heated up beyond the requisite level.
Hypoglycemia is intimately connected with the typical metabolic ailment known as Diabetes mellitus. The ailment, diabetes, can definitely be kept under control but cannot be cured by the modern-day medications. It is a medical state that is chronic. In simple words, diabetes or hypoglycemia remains a person’s lifetime mate.
The diabetics usually posses high levels of sugar in their blood stream. Incidentally in the good olden days, diabetes was initially identified with ‘sweet urine’ and too much loss of muscles. Such sweet urine is the result of hypoglycemia when the body produces glucose more than its requirement. What is more, the excess glucose gets circulated in the blood. Only when the pancreas is functioning normally can its insulin hormone control the high level of blood sugar.
Patients suffering from diabetics (Types 1 and 2) complain of hypoglycemia. A person suffering from hypoglycemia generally encounters problems in controlling the blood sugar level. This again results because that person’s pancreas failed to either produce the sufficient quantity of insulin or totally failed to produce any insulin. The consequence is hyperglycemia.
There are many causes of hypoglycemia. Diabetics undergoing long periods of fasting can have hypoglycemia. This happens because their levels of insulin circulate fast. And, the fasting phase suddenly brings down this high circulating level. Moreover, certain drugs can also trigger off hypoglycemia. Even those persons who have inbuilt resistance to insulin may complain of hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia can be caused also by certain tumors which produce insulin. Such tumors are called insulinomas.