Diabetes In Kids: Eye Concerns To Watch For

By November 18, 2021Blog Post
Kids Eye Concerns

Diabetes is a serious disease that can cause many complications, but one of the most common concerns for parents of children with diabetes is how it will affect their children’s vision. Diabetes is a disease that causes the body’s blood sugar levels to rise and this can lead to other health problems like kidney damage and eye complications. Early detection and treatment of diabetes-related eye problems are crucial to prevent vision loss for your child’s eyesight. Here we will go over some of the most common eye complications for diabetics and how you should watch out for them. If you notice any of these eye issues or symptoms on your child, be sure to take them for a children’s eye exam as soon as possible.

Eye Concerns To Look Out For

It’s not surprising that children with diabetes are more at risk of developing Glaucoma. This is because diabetics have an increased risk of developing nerve damage, which is ultimately what leads to Glaucoma. This is caused by an increased pressure in the eyes that slowly damages the optic nerve, which results in blindness or partial sight loss over time if left untreated. Those with diabetes are twice as likely to develop glaucoma, so it’s important to keep an eye on your children’s eyesight, as catching Glaucoma early could be the difference between your child
going blind or having full vision. Ask your child if they have any eye pain, headaches, or blurred vision as these are signs of Glaucoma. If your child has any of these symptoms, head straight for a children’s eye exam immediately.

Diabetic Retinopathy
Children with diabetes can develop retinopathy, a complication of diabetes. Caused by high blood sugar levels damaging the retina, diabetic retinopathy can cause blindness if left untreated for a lengthy amount of time. It’s suggested that children with diabetes should go for a children’s eye exam every year to screen for these kinds of complications, as early detection makes the complication easier to address. Early stages of retinopathy don’t usually have any symptoms, and so it’s best to let your eye care professional take photographs to screen for this type of issue. When retinopathy is more advanced, symptoms can be loss of vision, floaters in eyesight, or blurred/patchy vision.

Diabetic Macular Edema
Another complication from diabetes, macular edema can be a result of retinopathy. Diabetic macular edema (DME) is when excess fluid builds up in the macular of the eye. The macula is what allows us to focus and see details, and so when this is damaged and filled with fluid, it’s much harder to see. This fluid build-up is a side effect of retinopathy, as the blood vessels at the back of the eye will leak fluid into the macula when damaged, and these blood vessels are what are damaged during retinopathy. There are various treatments for macular edema, and so it’s important that your child has regular children’s eye exams to check for this complication. Symptoms of macular edema can range from blurred vision, seeing washed-out colors, or even double vision.