Cataracts and Diabetes
Diabetes is one of the leading factors in cataract development. People with diabetes mellitus are 60% more at risk of cataract development.
What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a condition where the body does not respond to or does not produce the hormone insulin. Insulin is vital to regulate blood glucose and provide fuel to the cells and organs. When the body fails to regulate glucose, blood sugar levels raise causing health complications and if untreated, diabetes can be fatal.
There are three types of diabetes - Gestational diabetes, caused by hormones produced during pregnancy making the body resistant to insulin; Type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune condition where insulin is destroyed by the body and Type 2 diabetes, when the body does not respond to insulin that is produced.
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How does diabetes cause cataracts?
Diabetes causes fluctuating blood sugar levels and high blood sugar. Surges in blood sugar can cause sugar to leak into the eye. Sugar that enters the eye causes the lens to swell. When the blood sugar diffuses, the swelling in the lens reduces. This repeated action causes clouding in the eye - known as cataracts.
Will I develop a cataract if I have diabetes?
Not everyone who is diabetic will develop cataracts, however diabetes increases the risk of developing cataracts by 60%. Not only does the risk of developing cataracts increase, but people with diabetes are more likely to develop cataracts at a younger age. The type of cataracts that develop as a result of diabetes are different to the type of cataract that develops with age.
How will diabetes affect my cataract extraction surgery?
Diabetes can cause the development of cataracts to speed up, meaning it is vital that anyone with diabetes has cataract extraction surgery as soon as the cataract is diagnosed.
Following cataract surgery, the risk of complications such as diabetic retinopathy or macular edema are increased in diabetic patients. For more information about diabetic retinopathy please follow this link.
For more information, contact a clinic and get a free quote.