In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria, an Ophthalmologist, Dr. Adeniyi Irefin who associated with SeeWell Ophthalmic Eye Clinic, said that people with diabetes are at a higher risk of visual impairment due to diseases affecting the eye like cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and in extreme cases can lead to blindness.

According to Dr. Adeniyi Irefin, the prime most cause of visual impairment in people with diabetes is a cataract. Diabetic retinopathy, on the other hand, is the principal cause of blindness. It occurs when blood sugar levels are high is cause serious damage to the retina. The vessels may swell, leak or can close. This hinders the blood from passing through them. It is also possible for abnormal new blood vessels to develop on the retina. It is found that major eye diseases commence with blood vessel problems. Dr. Irefin said that not being able to control blood sugar levels, hypertension, increased cholesterol levels and smoking are significant factors that are responsible for the causation of diabetes-related eye diseases.

What makes this challenging is that there are no early symptoms of visual impairment due to diabetes-related eye diseases. Regular checkups and screenings by qualified and certified medical professionals are necessary as the symptoms may not show until the problem is serious in nature. The extreme effects of these diabetic eye diseases can be prevented with the right management of underlying diabetes.