How can type 2 diabetes affect your eyesight?

My mom has type 2 diabetes and she was told it could affect her eyes. I was just wondering what that meant?

Written By Nurse007

{ 1 comment… add one }
  • j.f. February 14, 2009, 9:10 am

    We just went over this in my anatomy class for nursing school. Basically, diabetes is when your pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin, so your liver doesn’t break down sugar and send it to your cells like it should. So instead of storing it as glucose–cell food–it stores it as fat. The fat eventually clogs up your arteries, causing decreased circulation all throughout your body. This is why a lot of diabetics end up having to have their toes or even more amputated. The loss of circulation causes the tissues to die and turn gangrenous.
    Diabetes affects the eyes in the same way, by fat blocking the arteries and blood vessels inside the eyes, which eventually leads to blindness. Diabetes can also cause strokes because the stored fat blocks blood vessels to the brain.
    So tell your mom to watch her blood glucose levels and stick to her ADA diet, and if she has to take insulin to keep at it as prescribed. On my clinicals in nursing school, we had a few patients that had already had toes, feet, legs amputated. Your mom can avoid all this if she sticks to the dietary guidelines. Also, do some research of your own so you can get a better understanding of the disease and be a good support system for her. I hope this helps clear some things up and I also hope your mom does well.