I have diabetic retinopathy. I have had it for two years now. At the same time I was diagnosed, I was also told that I have peripheral cataracts. Luckily they don't damage my eyes like the retinopathy. I feel fortunate that so far I haven't been told that I have glaucoma. I dread it every time I go to the ophthalmologist. I don't know what is in store for me on my visit to the eye doctor.
A cataract is clouding or fogging of the normally clear lens of the eye. The lens allows us to see and focus on an image just like a camera. Light enters through the clear lens and reaches the back of the eyes. But when a cataract is present it forms a cloudy or frosted glass-like layer over the eye through which light cannot pass through.
Being a diabetic increases the chance of developing cataracts at some point in life. Diabetic patients with cataracts cannot focus on light and their vision is impaired. In diabetics with cataracts, when light enters in through the cloudy lens it scatters in different directions creating blurred or misty sight, double vision, and colors will become much duller. The thicker or cloudier the eye becomes with cataracts, the worse eyesight one will have.
Some people develop cataracts faster than others. Cataracts could get worse over a period of months or years. Causes of cataracts include:
1. older age
5. usage of high amounts of steroids
Cataracts do not have to come to both eyes at one time. Most people get it in one eye first.
When a person has cataracts:
1. He or she might have difficulty reading. Use of large print books for reading is better than normal print. Magnifying glasses and good light (focused from behind the shoulder in an angle) are useful tips.
2. He or she will find it difficult to drive at night. Headlights of oncoming traffic are hard on the eyes. He or she will find the sunlight to be bothersome. Using dark glasses and a hat is better when in sunlight.
People with or without diabetes will eventually need to go through a surgical procedure to remove cataracts.