Diabetes is certainly a silent killer. It damages most organs with toxic amounts of blood sugar levels if left unmanaged. While some of you are aware of a major diabetes complication of the eye in the name of diabetic retinopathy, diabetes affects almost all the parts of the eye.
Diabetes and eyes – Pupillary diseases
The pupils are damaged due to two major causes in diabetes – Autonomic neuropathy and Diabetic ophthalmoplegia.
Diabetic autonomic neuropathy is a diabetic neuropathy that affects the autonomic nerves. This condition leads to impaired pupillary reflexes and constriction of pupils.
Autonomic neuropathy can also lead to the paralysis of eye muscles, and unequal pupil sizes in the two eyes.
Ophthalmoplegia refers to weak eye muscles that lead to eye muscle paralysis. In this condition, there can be impairment of one or all six of the eye muscles.
Ophthalmoplegia can be internal ophthalmoplegia or external ophthalmoplegia. While external ophthalmoplegia can occur due to many other causes, internal ophthalmoplegia is caused due to nerve damage. Nerve damage occurs to the nerve fibers that control eye movement.
People with diabetes over the age of 45 yrs. or having diabetes for more than 10 years is a major risk factor for diabetic ophthalmoplegia. This is because of diabetic neuropathy.
Symptoms of diabetic ophthalmoplegia
- Double vision
- Blurred vision
- Lack of sync while positioning both eyes
- Difficulty to move the eyes in various directions
- Drooping eyelids
- Seeing floaters