Manage Your Diabetes & Protect Your Vision
Diabetes is a systemic disease that currently affects nearly 3.3 million Canadians. Diabetes prevents your body from making or using insulin, which is required for turning sugar in the blood to energy. If your body is unable to produce insulin or is unable to use it, this sugar remains in your bloodstream and causes damage to your entire system.
Our eyes are sensitive machines supplied by delicate blood vessels. Since diabetes prevents your body from processing sugar in the blood, this sugar buildup blocks the blood vessels in the eyes, preventing blood flow. This damage can lead to a number of diabetes-related eye diseases:
- Diabetic retinopathy is an eye disease that occurs when vessels behind the retina become blocked or clogged due to high sugar levels in the bloodstream. When they’re blocked, they can bulge and leak, permanently damaging your vision.
- Diabetic macular edema (DME) is a serious complication of diabetic retinopathy. It occurs when fluids leak from the blood vessels, causing the macula to swell. It can lead to permanent vision loss.
Diabetes also increases your risk of developing cataracts and doubles your risk of developing glaucoma.