Fluctuating visual acuity can be a first symptom of diabetes mellitus

Changes in visual acuity in the course of the day Possible reference to diabetes
Many people suffer from fluctuations in vision during the course of the day, which should be checked by a doctor in the case of clearly perceptible visual impairments. Because cause can be an undetected diabetes disease. If the visual acuity changes within one day, this is a possible early warning sign for diabetes mellitus, according to the current announcement of the German Ophthalmological Society( DOG).

Significant fluctuations in sight during the day are often attributed to eye fatigue. But an undetected disease of diabetes can also be the trigger."The number of diabetes cases is increasing dramatically in Germany" and "an estimated two million people are affected without knowing it," reports DOG.In the case of clearly perceptible changes in the visual acuity during the course of the day, a specialist examination should therefore urgently be carried out.

Often fluctuations in visual acuity are due to diabetes. In the case of a medical examination, the damage caused by the disease can be quickly determined.(Photo: Henrik Dolle / fotolia.com) Often fluctuations in visual acuity are due to diabetes. In the case of a medical examination, the damage caused by the disease can be quickly determined.(Picture: Henrik Dolle / fotolia.com)

Often, patients do not know about their diabetes disorder
"Every week, patients who are suffering from fluctuations in visual acuity during the day are coming to us every day," reports DOG expert Prof. Dr,med. Gabriele Lang. The cause of this is usually diabetes mellitus, according to the head of the conservative retinology and laser surgery department of the University Eye Clinic Ulm. Some of the patients did not know of their own metabolic disorder until the eye examination."Typical descriptions of these patients are: this morning I have still seen blurred, now it is again better," says Prof. Lang. Also, for example, an optimally adapted pair of glasses could no longer fit after two days later. And the affected person "suddenly suddenly feel worse with the new glasses in the distance or nearness." In many of these cases, the cause was due to blood glucose fluctuations resulting from diabetes.

Blood glucose fluctuations affect the visual acuity
By increasing blood glucose levels, the osmotic pressure in the eye is increased, which in turn leads to water retention in the eye lens and thus has an effect on visual acuity, reports Prof. Lang. The shape of the lens changes temporarily, affecting the ability to see sharply."If you notice such signs, you should visit an ophthalmologist," the DOG expert emphasizes. The ophthalmologist can already "recognize the consequences of the metabolic disease with a simple examination of the eye background", adds Professor Dr.med. Horst Helbig, President of DOG.Early detection as well as regular eye examinations are important in diabetes, because otherwise severe network damage threatens.

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Damage to the retina
During specialist examination, the vessels of the retina,and diabetes-induced changes are detected, even before the metabolic disorder becomes noticeable with other symptoms, the DOG reports. According to the severity of the disease, small red spots on the retina can be seen within the scope of the investigation."These are hemorrhages or sackings on the vessels, so-called microaneurysms," explains Prof. Lang. Other pertussis lesions include swelling of the retina, neovascularization of the retina, or vitreous hemorrhage. If the question of a known diabetes-related illness is not answered, we refer the physician or an internist to have the patients examined for diabetes, says Prof. Lang.

Imminent blindness of the affected persons
If the metabolic disorder is not recognized and progresses unbraked, the blood glucose gradually damages the small blood vessels, which supply the retina with nutrients, are explained by the DOG experts.80% of patients with diabetes mellitus type 2 would have a diabetic retinopathy after twenty years. In the industry, this is the most common cause of blindness at working age."Regular eye examinations are therefore very important for diabetic patients, especially since the disease is symptomless for the patient for a long time," says Prof. Gabriele Lang.(fp)

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