cataracts and diabetes

Are you more at risk of developing cataracts if you have diabetes? According to numerous studies the answer is yes, having the condition does increase the likelihood you’ll develop cataracts too.

To coincide with Diabetes Awareness Week, in this blog we explore the link between cataracts and diabetes. We look at what studies have revealed, as well as ways to reduce your risk of developing cataracts if you do have diabetes.

How are cataracts and diabetes linked?

There are a number of reasons why diabetes can increase the risk of cataracts. Due to high blood sugar, the blood vessels in the eyes can become damaged over time. This too is caused by high blood sugar.

Several studies have shown that younger patients with diabetes are at an increased risk of developing cataracts early on. Older patients aged over 65 who have the condition, are also twice as likely to develop cataracts than someone of the same age without the condition.

Can you reduce the risk of developing cataracts?

While anybody with diabetes is at risk of developing cataracts, there are some increased risk factors to be aware of. These include:

  • You have had diabetes for a long period of time
  • Older age
  • Decreased metabolic control

The longer a patient has diabetes, the higher the chance they will experience cataracts. So, while older age is a risk factor, young patients diagnosed with the condition are still at an increased risk of developing cataracts.

As high blood sugar contributes towards cataracts and vision issues, learning to manage the condition is pivotal for reducing the risk. For a better idea of how to prevent cataracts when you have diabetes, talk to your doctor. They will be able to advise you on the best ways to reduce the risk.

How are cataracts treated in diabetic patients?

Cataract surgery is a common and effective procedure used to treat the condition. However, in diabetic patients, there are some additional complications that can occur. The most common treatment types available include intravitreal anti-vascular endothelial growth factor medications, macular laser therapy, and intravitreal steroids.

Surgery remains the most popular option, but it does increase the risk of vision-threatening complications such as diabetic retinopathy, infections, and macular oedema. However, there is research that shows earlier cataract surgery leads to better visual outcomes.

Diabetic patients who have developed cataracts can find out which treatment option is right for them by booking a consultation with Mr Zaid Shalchi today. After assessing your condition, he will be able to advise you on the safest and most effective form of treatment to help you.