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December 7, 2007 at 4:52 AMComments: 0 Faves: 0

Increased Risk of Cataracts In Diabetes

By Smarty More Blogs by This Author

People with diabetes are at a higher risk of eye disorders than people without diabetes. One of these disorders is cataracts. People with diabetes are 60% more likely to develop cataracts than non-diabetics.

What are cataracts?

  • Cataracts appear when the proteins on the lenses of your eyes become clumped together.
  • As the cataract grows, it blocks light and makes the vision blurry.
  • Cataracts can also result from a tinting of the lens of the eye. Gradually, the vision takes on a brown or yellowish tint. This can cause problems for reading and discerning colors.
  • Cataracts can appear in one or both eyes. Cataracts are not contagious.

What are the risk factors for cataracts?

In addition to diabetes, smoking, alcohol use, and prolonged exposure to the sun can all cause cataracts.

How can I prevent cataracts?

  • If you are a diabetic, you should avoid smoking and alcohol. If you must go out into the sun, be sure to keep your eyes covered with sunglasses and/or a hat.
  • Good nutrition can also help delay the onset of cataracts. Be sure to eat a diet high in antioxidants.
  • You should have an eye exam every two years or so, especially if you are over age 60. This will check for any eye problems that might appear, and the sooner problems are found, the easier they can be fixed.

What cataract symptoms should I be aware of?

The following symptoms are symptoms experienced by cataract sufferers. However, they may also indicate another eye problem. If you experience any of the following symptoms, you should consult your health practitioner or eye care practitioner as soon as possible.

  • Blurry or clouded vision
  • Colors seem less bright
  • Appearance of halos around lights
  • Light sensitivity
  • Poor night vision
  • Double vision
  • Frequent eyeglass prescription changes

Are cataracts permanent?

  • No, cataracts can be fixed with surgery. Usually, the lens is removed and replaced with a donor lens or an artificial lens.
  • Surgery is only performed if the cataract is bothering you enough to interfere with your everyday activities.
  • Cataract surgery has some risks, including bleeding, infection, and retinal detachment. However, it has a success rate of 90%.
  • Surgery is usually performed while the patient is awake. It is usually painless and you can go home the same day.

Non-surgical cataract treatment

If the cataract is small, there are other options besides surgery for treating it. Many people find that the following methods compensate for their cataracts:

  • New glasses
  • Better lighting
  • Anti-glare sunglasses
  • Magnifying glasses for reading

If you think you have a cataract, you should see your health practitioner as soon as possible.

Sources:

http://www.nei.nih.gov/health/cataract/cataract_facts.asp

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