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I noticed 3months ago my vission getting worse. I have been checking my blood to monitor my blood sugar per my Doctors orders. I have experienced ensomnia for 7months. What are the effects of my vission if I have diabetes?

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People with diabetes are more likely to develop cataracts at a younger age and are twice as likely to develop glaucoma, but diabetes' effect on the retina is the main threat to vision. Called diabetic retinopathy, this effect of diabetes on the eyes is the most common cause of blindness in people under age 65 and the most common cause of new blindness in North America.

Over time, diabetes causes changes in the tiny blood vessels that nourish the retina. In the early stages, known as nonproliferative or background retinopathy, the arteries in the retina weaken and begin to leak, forming small, dot-like hemorrhages (blood flow from the ruptured blood vessel). These leaking vessels often lead to swelling (edema) in the retina and decreased vision. At this stage, vision may be normal or it may have started to blur or change. About one in four people with diabetes experience this problem.

When retinopathy advances, the decreased circulation of the blood vessels deprives areas of the retina of oxygen. Blood vessels become blocked or closed, and parts of the retina die. New, abnormal, blood vessels grow to replace the old ones. They grow along the retina and along the surface of the vitreous (the transparent gel that fills the inner portion of the eyeball). Unfortunately, these delicate vessels hemorrhage easily. Blood may leak into the retina and vitreous, causing “floaters” (spots that appear to drift in front of the eyes), along with decreased vision.

This is called proliferative retinopathy, and it affects about one in 20 people with diabetes. It can lead to severe visual loss or blindness. In the later phases of the disease, continued abnormal vessel growth and scar tissue may cause retinal detachment and glaucoma.

The effect of retinopathy on vision in people with diabetes varies widely, depending on the stage of the disease. Common symptoms can include blurred vision (often linked to blood glucose levels), flashes or sudden loss of vision. However, diabetes may cause other eye symptoms.

Fluid can leak into the center of the macula, the part of the eye where clear, detailed vision occurs. The fluid swells the macula and blurs the vision. Called macular edema, it can occur at any stage, although it is more likely to occur as the disease progresses. About one-half of people with proliferative retinopathy also have macular edema.
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