Understanding The Value Of Acne Treatments

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Can Patients With Diabetes-Induced Cataracts Wear Contacts?


You may need to stop wearing contacts if you develop cataracts as a result of diabetes. With serious cataracts, your contacts will not help your vision very much. You may also not be able to wear contacts due to how diabetes causes dryness of the eyes.

Diabetes and Cataracts are Interrelated

One of the long-term effects of diabetes is that it can cause one of your eye lenses to become cloudy. The cataract will cause your vision to be blurred. Simply developing cataracts does not mean that you have diabetes since cataracts often develop as we age. However, if you develop a cataract at a younger age, this can be an effect of long-term diabetes. Also, those with diabetes develop cataracts 60% more often than those who do not.

The type of cataract you are the most likely to develop is a subcapsular cataract. Since the cataract usually begins small, it will not have a noticeable effect on your eyesight. However, if the cataract progresses, your vision will become blurrier and you may also find that lights are brighter. This may force you to wear sunglasses or prescription glasses that are tinted.

The Answer is In Your Medical Team

Once you have developed diabetes, you will not only need to make more trips to the doctor, but also to the dentist and eye doctor. Your eye doctor will need to understand the progression of your diabetes so that he or she can determine if your worsening vision is the result of aging or if your worsening vision is the result of long-term diabetes. You may not necessarily need your prescription strengthened.

When the cataract has a strong impact on your vision, you will need a surgery to have the cloudy lens removed. Then, you will need to have the old lens replaced with a new one. When you complete the procedure, you'll be able to better see.

Contacts and Diabetes

Contacts also can often not be worn if your eyes are too dry. Diabetes is known for causing dry eyes, so you will need to consult with your eye doctor regarding whether you can continue to wear contacts. If you are able to wear contacts, though, you may be able to take advantage of a new technology that will allow you to monitor your blood glucose levels.

New smart lens technology will allow for patients to measure their glucose levels by measuring their tear levels. The contacts can then send the reading to the user wirelessly through their mobile devices. Thanks to these innovations, in some ways, contacts and diabetes might be compatible after all. 

For more information about contact lenses and if they'll work for your situation, contact a professional such as Jeffrey C. Fogt, OD.


2 February 2015