Exploring The Relation Between Diabetes and Low Vision

//Exploring The Relation Between Diabetes and Low Vision

Exploring The Relation Between Diabetes and Low Vision

Understanding what Diabetes means?

1.5 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes every year according to the American Diabetes Association. But what does this mean medically? And how do you define diabetes?

Diabetes can be defined as a disease that affects how your body turns food into energy. The food consumed is broken and turned into sugar (glucose) which is then directed in your bloodstream. When the blood sugar shoots up, the body releases insulin (which lets the blood sugar into your cells to be used as energy).

People suffering from diabetes either don’t have enough insulin in their bodies or cells don’t respond to the insulin which then causes serious health problems.

  • heart disease

  • kidney disease

  • vision loss

  • nerve damage

Types of diabetes include:

  • A condition in which your body does not make insulin

  • A condition where your body does not make use of insulin present

  • Gestational diabetes (mostly common during pregnancy)

  • Other forms include monogenic diabetes (an inherited form of diabetes) and cystic fibrosis-related diabetes

How diabetes directly effect your eyesight?

Diabetes is said to be the main cause of serious eye problems which may lead to blindness. Diabetic patients that fall under the type 1 and type 2 categories are at a risk for eye complications and peripheral neuropathy.

Did You Know?

34.2 million Americans—just over 1 in 10—have diabetes.
88 million American adults—approximately 1 in 3—have prediabetes.

Eye diseases and problems like low vision, blurry vision, cataracts, glaucoma, and retinopathy can also be caused by high blood sugar. In fact, diabetes is the primary cause of low vision in U.S in adults aged 20 to 74, as a result of diabetes damaging blood vessels in the retina.

Currently 7.7 million Americans and more than 14.6 million people by 2030 are predicted to be affected by Diabetic retinopathy.

How diabetes directly affect your eyesight?

Diabetic eye disease can be defined as a group of eye problems that can have an adverse affect on people diagnosed with diabetes i.e. diabetic retinopathy, diabetic macular edema, cataracts, and glaucoma.

Glaucoma is caused when the pressure builds up in the eye which further carries the blood to the retina and optic nerve. Low vision or vision loss is a result of the retina and nerve being damaged.

While there are several treatments for glaucoma like drugs to reduce pressure in the eye, surgery but the most beneficial way of tackling a sensitive issue like glaucoma is use of low vision aids.

Cataracts occur when the eye’s clear lens clouds, blocking sight. The internal lens in your eye enables the eye to focus and view images similar to the structure of a camera. In the same way, when the lens gets dusty or cloudy, a cataract is formed. This can happen to any individual but diabetic patients are much more prone to this problem.  Wearing sunglasses more often and use glare-control lenses can be a way of dealing with mild- cataracts.

Diabetic Retinopathy is an eye disease that affects blood vessels in the retina due to the high blood sugar. Having excess of sugar in your blood can severely damage the retina (a part that detects light and sends signals to your brain through a nerve in the back of your eye (optic nerve).

The excess sugar blocks the tiny blood vessels that go to your retina, causing them to leak fluid or bleed.

How to mitigate the effects?

Diabetes, due to its effects on vulnerable individuals can be a source of poor vision and even vision loss. There are several ways of reducing the effects caused by diabetes on your vision such as:

  • Manage your blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol

  • Refrain from smoking

  • Get a dilated eye exam once a year

  • Losing weight (if excessive)

  • Eat healthy food

Low Vision Aids for Diabetic Patients

Low vision aids are wide array of devices aimed at enhancing your overall visual experience through the leftover vision, helping you carry out your daily tasks with ease and convenience. Specialized training is required to make efficient use of optical, non-optical/electronic devices. The level of training determines how efficiently and successfully you’ll be able to operate such low vision aids.

CCTVs are basically cameras that are used to project a magnified image onto a computer or television screen. There can several types i.e. mounted on a stand (next to a desktop computer), or handheld (portable). Larger diabetic retinopathy aids i.e. desktop magnifier provide more hands-free visual support, one of the best low vision aids to be used at home and or in the office.

A stand magnifier refers to a magnifying lens mounted on a surface that fixes the distance from the lens to the object. Stand magnifiers are beneficial for carrying out tasks that require precision such as reading a magazine, signing checks, and doing crossword puzzles.

Filters eyewear are designed for people with low vision with visually impairments e.g. light sensitivity which require filters that reduce glare, developed specifically for low vision applications. It is highly advisable to consult your medical counsel to select the most suitable type of low vision absorptive filter, based on your existing eye condition. The eyewear is also designed in a way that enables you to fit them over your prescription glasses.

The utility of low vision devices can only help low vision individuals in cases where medical and surgical treatment have no or a limited role in restoring useful vision.

IrisVision for Diabetic Patients

The search for the best low vision aids is a never ending one based on the fact that each low vision aid is task-centric and can only be used when performing specific tasks. For diabetic patients, devices that provide additional lighting, viewing choices, focus adjustment/magnification power, and color contrast options are all great features of low vision aids for diabetic patients.

IrisVision can be classified as one such device that is equipped with the features making the best low vision solution. A wearable easy to use device that gives you that extra-wide field of view enabling you to capture moments, magnify images, and connect to the outside world.

A portable hands-free device that gives you the independence to perform any task anywhere without the slightest inconvenience, relieving you of the troublesome task of switching in between devices when performing various routine tasks in your everyday life. It would be accurate statement to say that for all these reasons, IriVision qualifies as the complete package, the leading low vision device in the U.S.

One of the prominent low vision issue is the inability to read with ease, see far off objects, but with IrisVision’s reading line mode, you are provided with a virtual magnification bar in the center of the screen, allowing you to magnify more than one line of text at the center of the bar, while simultaneously giving you a normal view of the scene above and below it.

The different setting embedded in the reading mode will allow to change the background through changing the color of the background choosing from white, black, green, yellow as well as change the text color according to your preferred color tone, bringing back the excitement and making reading an eventful experience.

With IrisVision’s comprehensive features, you can capture images with a high resolution camera, which not only captures the visual image but appears before you after being processed and magnified in real-time, customized to the specific needs and requirements of different types of low vision conditions.

IrisVision with its comprehensive features truly fits the criteria for the best low vision aids for diabetic patients. But this one-of-a-kind low vision solution also facilitates other support mechanisms such as ‘RP Mode’ that squeezes the whole captured scene to a smaller area, enabling you to move it across to your central vision, a feature that makes IrisVision the most suitable low vision device for patients suffering from glaucoma.

“This is the best I’ve seen you in years,”

Above are the remarks of Cornelia Schwendeman, a 96 year-old from Dayton, Ohio, when she tried the headset the very first time, as she looked at her daughter sitting about 6 feet away from her.


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