In general, people with diabetes are at a greater risk for eye-related complications. Children are no exception to the rule. Just like adults, children with diabetes can have eye-problems like cataract, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy. Anyone who’s lived with diabetes for more than 20 years is likely to have eye-related problems, regardless of their age.
For children, it is sometimes harder to note the warning signs that point towards eye complications. The child should be encouraged to tell about any vision disturbances or any eye-related problem promptly. The best thing to do is to take children for regular checkups to ensure that there is no problem with their eyes. Once a child is diagnosed with diabetes, they need to get a thorough eye exam immediately, followed by regular exams as suggested by your doctor.
Types of Eye Problems Caused by Diabetes:
There are three main symptoms of eye-related complications that children with diabetes need to be aware of. This can be done through the coaching and guidance of their parents, so that they are able to report these symptoms as soon as they occur.
Blurring or fluctuating vision should not be ignored. Elevated sugar levels will cause the body to gather fluid from the lens, resulting in a change in shape that will cause fluctuating vision. Once the sugar level is controlled, the lens will come back to its original shape and the vision disturbance will gradually go away.
The appearance of floaters is something your child will definitely not miss. If they see black spots in their vision, they should have an immediate medical evaluation to ensure the spots are not due to diabetic retinopathy. In diabetic retinopathy blood vessels leak fluid and blood into the eye, and this is what causes the dark spots that we call floaters.
If your child reports loss of vision or if they’re experiencing difficulty in reading or in recognizing faces, it could be due to diabetic retinopathy. Although, the condition can cause blindness if left untreated, laser surgery can undo most of the damage to vessels in the eye.
Dealing with Eye Problems in Children with Diabetes:
Once a child is diagnosed with eye problems, parents need to take safety measures to prevent accidents or falls at home. Without proper precautions, children could get seriously injured, not to mention the damage it could do to their self-confidence.