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EYE COMPLICATIONS

Diabetic Retinopathy

Chronic hyperglycemia affects the blood vessels supplying the retina of the eyes. Diabetic retinopathy is a serious and frequent complication of diabetes and can result in blindness. About 85% of all diabetics develop some degree of retinopathy. The changes to the retina can be detected early on by a doctor performing an eye examination. Usually the diabetic will not have experienced any real visual changes in these early stages. It is therefore very important for a diabetic to have regular annual eye examinations in order to ensure that these changes are detected early. Establishing excellent diabetic control can slow or halt these changes to the retina. We can understand the serious limitations to a persons life style that these complications can cause.

Diabetic cataracts

Diabetes mellitus is one of the causes of cataract formation. Cataracts are an opaque gray or yellowish brown patch on the lens of the eye. It may occur in one or both eyes. The treatment is to have them surgically removed. The sight is usually fully restored once the operation has been done.

INFECTIONS AND SKIN COMPLICATIONS

Infections and skin disorders

Uncontrolled hyperglycemia causes a change in cellular immunity. This is also impacted by circulatory disorders. Skin infections occur most frequently on the limbs. However, any skin infection will take longer to heal than in a non-diabetic. Ulceration is common. Oral and vaginal thrush is a frequent complication of chronic hyperglycemia. Secondary bacterial infection can occur because of the splits in the tissue caused by the thrush infection.

Diabetic control is compromised by any systemic infection that a diabetic may contract. Hyperglycemia is made worse by infection and can cause additional treatment/medication to be required in order to regain glucose control.

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