Diabetic Cataract Infograph, Cataractogenesis in Diabetic cataract
Connection of Diabetes to Cataract
Cataracts are a common eye condition that can cause vision loss and blindness if left untreated. Diabetes is a metabolic disorder that affects the body’s ability to produce or use insulin, leading to high blood sugar levels. There is a strong connection between diabetes and cataracts, and people with diabetes are at a higher risk of developing cataracts than those without diabetes.
The exact mechanism by which diabetes causes cataracts is not fully understood, but it is believed to be related to the accumulation of sorbitol, a sugar alcohol, in the lens of the eye. Sorbitol can cause the lens to swell and become cloudy, leading to the formation of cataracts.
People with diabetes are also more likely to develop cataracts at a younger age than those without diabetes. Cataracts can be treated with surgery, but people with diabetes may be at a higher risk of complications during and after the procedure.
Preventing or managing diabetes is key to reducing the risk of developing cataracts. Maintaining healthy blood sugar levels through diet, exercise, and medication can help prevent or delay the onset of cataracts. Regular eye exams are also important for detecting and treating cataracts early on.
Stages of Diabetic Cataract
•Figure shows the stages of cataractogenesis, which is the process of formation of cataracts in the lens of the eye.
•Cataracts are opacities or cloudiness in the lens that impair vision and can lead to blindness if untreated.
•The figure illustrates how high levels of galactose, a type of sugar, can damage the lens and cause cataracts.
•Galactose is converted to galactitol by the enzyme aldose reductase in the lens cells. Galactitol accumulates and draws water into the cells, causing swelling and disruption of the lens structure.
•The figure shows four stages of cataract development: normal lens, prevacuole stage, initial vacuolar stage, and late vacuolar stage.
•In the normal lens, the lens fibers are arranged in a regular and transparent pattern, and the lens capsule is intact.
•In the prevacuole stage, the lens fibers start to swell and lose their regularity, and small spaces or vacuoles appear between them.
•In the initial vacuolar stage, the vacuoles become larger and more numerous, and the lens capsule begins to rupture.
•In the late vacuolar stage, the vacuoles coalesce and form large fluid-filled cavities, and the lens capsule is completely broken.
•In the nuclear cataract stage, the central part of the lens, called the nucleus, becomes hard and opaque, and the peripheral part, called the cortex, becomes liquefied.
Risk factor for Diabetes
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the main risk factors for people with diabetes developing cataracts are older age, long duration of diabetes, and decreased metabolic control.
The CDC also reports that 32% of adults aged 45 and over who have diabetes also have cataracts.
Moreover, people over 65 with diabetes are twice as likely to develop cataracts than people of the same age without diabetes, while people under 65 with diabetes are three to four times more likely to develop cataracts than people of the same age who do not have the condition
When cataracts get in the way of doing daily tasks, a doctor will usually recommend surgery.
Cataract surgery is a relatively safe procedure done under local anesthetic. It can take around 1 hourTrusted Source, although some operations may take less time. People can usually go home the same day.
During surgery, a doctor removes the clouded lens and replaces it with a clear, artificial one. The artificial lens, or intraocular lens, requires no care and can significantly restore the eye’s ability to focus. Once a doctor has removed the cataract, it will not grow back.
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