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Vision Complications of Type 2 Diabetes

We surveyed people with type 2 diabetes to better understand vision-related complications and their physical and emotional ramifications. Vision problems can be one of the most frightening complications of diabetes, and if not managed properly, can result in vision loss. People living with diabetes can develop several vision-related complications, namely cataracts (66%), diabetic retinopathy (61%), glaucoma (14%), diabetic macular edema (14%) and age-related macular degeneration (11%).

Vision complications include but are not limited to, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma

Not only vision complications

As if vision problem weren’t challenging enough, they’re not the only complications that people with diabetes have to live with. Some of the other diabetes-related complications are neuropathy (67%), foot problems (63%), heart disease (56%), skin conditions (30%) and kidney disease (18%).

Other type 2 diabetes complications include but are not limited to, neuropathy, foot problems and heart disease

Impact of vision problems

People living with vision problems have to manage many symptoms, such as trouble seeing at night (55%), blurred vision (51%), sensitivity to changes in light (45%), sudden flashes or floaters (32%), eye or head pain (22%), blind spots (11%) and double vision (8%) among other symptoms. All these symptoms have a significant impact on daily life.

Vision problems make it difficult to read (especially small print), work and drive at night

Treatment for vision problems

Treatment and management of vision problems are extensive. Many have had surgery, they take medications, and about half make considerable lifestyle changes to manage their vision. Some of the lifestyle changes include blood pressure control (95%), wearing eye protection (83%), quit smoking (64%), changing diets (55%), maintaining a healthy weight (54%) and exercise (52%).

Lifestyle changes to manage vision issues are blood pressure control, eye protection, quit smoking, diet changes and exercise

Blame and regret

Vision problems don’t just affect eyesight, but also have a significant emotional and psychological impact, causing feelings of regret and self-blame.

People felt regret for not managing diabetes properly and felt burned out from managing vision problems along with diabetes

The Type 2 Diabetes Vision Complications survey was conducted online in December of 2018. 148 people living with type 2 diabetes completed the survey

Comments

  • Thomas A McAtee Jr. moderator
    5 months ago

    Wow. Good article!!

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